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Preparing for publication, in one volume 8vo, with a Portrait, 

A jMEMOIR of the late GREVILLE EWING, Minister of the Gospel, 
Glasgow. By his Daughter. 

Preparing for immediate publication, 

MEMOIRS of the LIFE, LABOURS, and TRAVELS of the late 
DAVID NASMITH, Founder of the City and Town Missions. By the Rev. John 
Campbell, D. D. 

In a few days will be published, under the sanction of the Directors of the London 

Missionary Society, 

MEMOIRS of the REV. JOHN WILLIAMS, Missionary to Polynesia. 
Compiled from his Journals, Correspondence, and other Authentic Sources. By the Rev. 
E. Prout, of Halstead. 

Preparing for publication, 


D.D,, Author of “ The Extent of the Atonement,” &c., and on “The Union of the Holy 
Spirit and the Church in the Conversion of the WYrld.” 

Thirty-seventh Thousand. Cheap Edition, price 2s. 6d., 


SEA ISLANDS; with Remarks upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Lan¬ 
guages, Traditions, and Usages of the Inhabitants. By the Rev. John Williams, of the 
London Missionary Society. Illustrated with Portrait of the Author, and Engravings 
on Wood. 

“ He knew not whether he would not willingly put away at least half the folios which he possessed, 
rather than part with one volume which had recently been published by the Missionary Williams.” — 
Bishop of Chester at the Bible Meeting. 

Lately published, in 8vo., beautifully illustrated, as a Companion to the “ Missionary 

Enterprises” of the Rev. John Williams, price 12^., 

SIDERED IN THEIR MUTUAL RELATIONS; comprehending the Discovery of 
India, America, and Polynesia, with the First Missions to those regions; the Rise and 
Progress of the Missionary Spirit in England, &c. &c. By the Rev. John Campbell, D.D. 

“ Replete with the mof<t interesting details, which cannot fail to give a powerful and salutary impulse to 
the cause of Christian .Missi'uis.”— Evangelical Magazine. 

It is scarcely inferior to the lamented Williams’s Missionary Enterprises.”— Retnvalist. 

'^ne of the most interesting contributions that have yet been made to the Missionary Library.”— 
jn . hly Review. 

‘ Notwithstanding the very able writers who have preceded him, w'eare by no means sure but that some 
of the great events of discovery are more strikingly impressed by Mr. Campbell than even by his prede- 
cef Ts.” —Spectator. 

‘ : ueserves, and it will doubtless have, an extensive circulation.”— Baptist Magazine. 

“ A’e urge all lovers of Christian Missions to possess themselves of its contents without delay.”— Man- 
che..:ter Times. 

“ This volume possesses all the charms of adventure, and all the excitement of generous enterprise.”— 
Scottish Pilot. 

“ A book of greater interest it has seldom been our lot to meet with; we do not recollect indeed ever to 
have perused one with more interest. Once fairly enter upon the narrative, and the reader will lind it ini- 
pos.sible to stop—go on with it he must; and he will proceed to tiie end with increasing delight.”— Eclectic 

“ Forming a valuable addition to our missionary literature, and worthy of a place in every library in 
which that literature is prized.”— United Secession Magazine. 

“ A book of greater interest it has seldom been our lot to meet with; we do not recollect, indeed, ever 
to have perused one with more interest. — So thoroughly, however, is he imbued with the .spirit of his noble 
subject; so exemplary has been his diligence, and so logical bis arrangement; so clear, enlightened, and 
important are his general principles; such are his powers of rapid condensation; such the charm of his 
earnestness; such the freedom and skill of his vigorous peicil; and so truly does he seize uj)on the 
characteristic features of his diversified topics, that he seems ([uite as much at home in this novel sphere 
as when treading the more frequented path of his profession.” — Eclectic Review. 

” The delineations of character which o.-cur are in a high degree striking and effective. The entire 
narrative discovers such sound and vigorous thinking, such just appreciation of motive and conduct, and 
such high-toned moral feeling, expressed in nervous language, as evinces a perfect unison of heart with 
the subject, insensibly gains on the confidence of the reader, and livets and sustains the attention to the 
close.” — Liverpool Times. 



Just published, a New, Revised, and Cheap Edition, with Twenty-six beautiful 

Engravings, price Is., 


Daniel Tyerman and George Bennet, Esq., deputed from the London Missionary 
Society to visit their various Stations in the South Sea Islands, China, India, &c. Compiled 
from Original Documents, by James Montgomery, Esq. 

Fifth Thousand. In one handsome vol. 8vo., beautifully Illustrated, bound in cloth and 
lettered, with Map by Arrowsmith, and Frontispiece in Oil Colours, by Mr. G. Baxter, 
price 12,?., 

CHINA: ITS STATE AND PROSPECTS, with Especial Reference to 

the Diffusion of the Gospel; containing allusions to the Antiquity, Extent, Population, 
Civilization, Literature, Religion, and Manners of the Chinese ; with Remarks on the Opium 
Trade. By the Rev. W. H. Medhurst, Twenty Years a Missionary to the Chinese. 

“ Mr. Medhurst’s book is one of those which he that begins to read will scarcely be able to close till he 
arrives at the last page; and he who has read it once will be glad of the opportunity of frequently consult¬ 
ing it.”— Wesleyan Magazine. 

“ To those who are interested in investigations on the state of China, this book will be a most valuable 
aid. It has advanced our knowledge of China immensely; and is one which every scholar and antiquarian 
should possess, if the purpose were merely that of knowing general history aud customs.”— Churchman’s 

“ We believe that Mr. Medhurst’s ‘ China’ is second to no Missionary work. Throughout the w’hole we 
see a perfect mastery of the subject, a desire for severe accuracy in the information communicated, an un¬ 
varnished simplicity of narrative, a large, but well-defined comprehension of Missionary details, and, 
withal, a piety that melts in compassion, and kindles in zeal for the interests of China.”— Congregational 

Second Thousand. In 8vo., beautifully Illustrated, handsomely bound in cloth and 

lettered, price 12s., 

BRITISH INDIA : In its Relation to the Decline of Hindooism and the 
Progress of Christianity; containing Remarks on the Manners, Customs, and Literature of 
the People ; on the Effects which Idolatry has produced upon their Civil, Moral, and Political 
Relations, &c. &c. By the Rev. William Campbell, of the London Missionary Society. 

“ The Bangalore missionary has produced a volume of extraordinary interest.”— Patriot. 

“ A volume of great interest and worth.”— Watchman. 

“ We earnestly recommend Mr. Campbell’s admirable work on British India to public attention.”— 
Congregational Magazine. 

In two vols. 8vo., with Plates, price 12s., 


D.D., Missionary to China. By his Widow. With Critical Notices by Professor Kidd. 

“ Every Christian family should possess this invaluable work.” 

Dedicated to the Queen Dowager. 

Second Thousand. In one vol. 8vo., beautifully Illustrated, price 12,?., 

A NARRATIVE of the GREEK MISSION: or, Sixteen Years ir 
Malta and Greece. Including Tours in the Peloponnesus, in the ^Egean and Ionian Isles, 
&c. By the Rev. S. S. Wilson. 

“ This book is written with great clearness of judgment; its investigations are profound, and novelty 
recommends it in every part.”—Churchman's Mag. 

MADAGASCAR. Sixth Thousand. 

Just published, in 12mo., price 6s., with Portraits of the Six Refugees, beautifully printed 

in Oil Colours, 


MADAGASCAR ; with some account of the present condition of that Country. By the 
Rev. J. J. Freeman and Rev. D. Johns. 

The profits of the wmrlc will be devoted to the relief of the natives still suffering in 
their own country, and threatened with immediate death, aud to the interests of the refugees 
wdio have effected their escape. 

Recently published, in one vol. 12mo., 5s., 

LETTERS ON INDIA; with Special Reference to the Spread of 

Christianity. By the Rev. W. Buyers, Missionary at Benares. 

“Such a practical manual was m.ucb needed as a guide to missionaries, and as a means of instruction to 
the friends of missions in general.”— Evan. Mag. 



In post 8vo., with Portraits of Dr. and Mrs. Milne, price 7s. 6d., 

THE LIFE of the REV. WILLIAM MILNE, D.D., Missionary to 
C'hina. With Biographical Annals of Asiatic Missions from Primitive to Protestant Times; 
intended as a Guide to Missionary Spirit. By the Rev. Robert Philip. 

“ Another splendid trophy to the Missionary cause.”— Manchester Times. 

“ A work of great interest, and will he read by many with unmingled delight.”— Evan. Mag. 

Just ])ublished, a new Edition, with Portrait of the Rev. J. Williams, and Engraving of the 

Camden, price 2^. Gt?., 

THE MISSIONARY’S FAREWELL; with a Parting Address to the 
British Churches and the Friends of Missions. By the Rev. John Williams. With an 
Appendi.v ; comprising an Account of his Proceedings at the Cape and at Sydney, and of 
his Death at Erromanga. 

Just published, price \s. 

AFRICA; or, Gospel Light Shining in the Midst of Heathen Darkness. 
A Sermon, preached in the Tabernacle, Moorfields, before the Directors of the London 
IVIissionary Society. By the Rev. R. Moffat, Twenty-three Years a Missionary in the 
interior of South Africa. 

In post 8vo., whole bound in cloth and lettered, price 4s. 6d., 
POLYNESIA ; or, Missionary Toils and Triumphs in the South Seas. 
A Poem. 

“ The author has earned his title, in this exquisitely beautiful volume, to an undying reputation. The 
vivid picture which he has drawn of the triumphs of the Cross in the Islands of the Southern Pacific will 
henceforward entitle him to rank with the Christian poets of the age.”— Evan. Mag. 

Just published, in 12mo., cloth lettered, price 5s. 


especially the Turks, the Russians, and the Jews. By the Rev. A. Macleod, Author of 

A View of Inspiration ; comprehending the Nature and Distinctions of the Spiritual Gifts 
and Offices of the Apostolic Age.” 

“ To show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass.” 

Dedicated to the London Missionary Society, price 4s., 

A SPLENDID COLOURED PRINT, representing the Departure of 
the Camden Missionary Ship, with the Rev. J. Williams and Missionaries for the South 
Seas, from the River Thames. Sketched on the spot, and printed in Oil Colours by G. 
Baxter, Patentee. Size of the Print, including tinted board, 10 inches by 14 inches. 

Third Edition, post 8vo., price 7s. Dedicated to the Rev. J. P. Smith, D.D. 

THE EXTENT of the ATONEMENT in its relation to GOD and 

the UNIVERSE. By the Rev. T. W. Jenkyn, D.D., President of Coward College. 

“ We think, with conclusive certainty, that this paramount and transcendant doctrine has never been 
presented in such a series of lucid disquisitions, and with a comprehension so adapted to the majesty of the 
subject, in any book published in the United Kingdom.”— Home Missionary Magazine, March, 1837. 

In one volume, post 8vo., handsomely bound in cloth, and lettered, price 8^., 

ON the UNION of the HOLY SPIRIT and the CHURCH in the 
CONVERSION of the WORLD. By the Rev. Thomas W. Jenkyn, D.D. 

Just published, price Qs., 

Thomson, D.D. 

“ Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God.”—Isa. xl. 1. 

” This book will be valued by thousands of Christians as a rich treasure.”— Revivalist. 

Second Edition, in foolscap 8vo., cloth lettered, with numerous Engravings, 4^. GcZ., 


Sunday-school Teachers, and Young Christians generally. Designed as an Illustrative Com¬ 
mentary on the Sacred Scriptures. By Samuel Green, Walworth. 

This Edition is improved by the introduction of a concise Dictionary of symbolical terms 
employed in Scripture. 

To THE Friends of Missions. 

Beautifully printed in Oil Colours, price 5^., 

THE MISSIONARY VINE ; from a Drawing by MIssRahmn. Show¬ 
ing at one view the whole of the Stations of the London Missionary Society, geographically 
arranged ; the jieriod when, and the person or persons by whom they were commenced, and 
likewise by whom they are occupied. Thus the elements of Missionary Geography, Chrono¬ 
logy, History, and Biography, are all beautifully blended in this production. The jiroilts 
to be given to the London Missionary Society. 



Just published, in one volume 12mo., cloth lettered, 5s. 6d., 


B. Parsons. 

“Woman is the Glory of Man.”— Apostue Paul. 

Ninth Thousand. Cheap Edition for General Circulation. 

This day is published, beautifully printed in demy 8vo., price 2s., 
ANTI-BACCHUS: an Essay on the Crimes, Diseases, and other Evils 
connected with the Use of Intoxicating Drinks. By the Rev. B. Parsons. 

The Rev. J. H. Hinton, one of the three Adjudicators of the Prize of 100 guineas for the 
best Essay on Temperance, gave his voice in favour of “ Anti-Bacchus. 

New Work by the Author of Anti-Bacchus. 

Second Thousand. Just published, for general circulation, price Is. 6d., 

INDUCTIONS of SCIENCE and the FACTS of HISTORY; in which particular reference 
is made to the Character of Ancient Drinks, especially the Wines of Scripture. 

Twenty-fifth Thousand. Price 4^. 6d. per 100, for Distribution. Suitable for Churches 

» seeking Revivals. 

“THE NIGHT COMETH;” or, the Soul in Danger. By John 

Adey, Minister of Union Chapel, Horsleydown, Southwark. 

Beautifully printed for general circulation, price 2^. 6d., 


and Introduction by the Rev. Dr. Patton, and Introductory Preface by the Rev. J. A. James, 
of Birmingham. 

“ There is something very opportune in the present appearance of this beautiful and cheap edition- 
South, and north, the subject of revivals engrosses the minds of men. The present edition is within the 
reach of the poorest member of the poorest church in the empire, and every such member ought to possess 
it.”— Patriot. 

For general circulation, price 2s. only, 

vised, with Notes by the Rev. Dr. Patton, and Introductory Prefaces by the Rev. J. A. James, 
of Birmingham, and the Rev. Dr. Payne, of Exeter. 

“ Such a course of twenty-two Lectures were never before published in our own or any other language.” 
— Revivalist. 

By the Author of “ Tire Waldenses,’’ &c. &c. 

J. Snow begs to announce that, having purchased the Stock of the following valuable Works 
from the respected and venerable Author, he now offers them at the very low prices affixed, 

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY. By W. Jones, M.A. In three thick 

vols. 8vo. Price only 16s. Published at 21. 

LECTURES on the APOCALYPSE. Price ^s. Published at 155. 


lished at 125. 

Just published, cloth lettered, price 25. 6d., 

THE SHIELD Ob’ DISSENT ; or. Dissent in its Bearings on Legislation. 

With Strictures on Dr. Brown’s Work on Tribute. By Edward Swaine. 

“ I view it as a truly Christian and valuable work.”—TAe Rev. Dr. J. Pye Smith, F.R.S. 

Just published, price l5. 6d., or for distribution, 15s. per dozen, 

AGRIPPA; or, the Nominal Christian invited to Consideration and 

Decision. By the Rev. John Jefferson. 

“ A very powerful appeal to the consciences of those who are convinced of the truth of Christianity, but 
who still linger in a state of indecision. tVe augur much good from its extensive circulation.”— Evangelical 
M agazine. 

Just published, price Is. Gd., royal 18mo., cloth, 


By John Jefferson. 

This day is published, in 18mo., cloth lettered, price 25. Gd., 

THE MOTHER with her FAMlLY^ ; being Scriptural Exercises and 
Prayers for Children every Sunday Evening. By the Rev. T. Timpson, Author of the 
“ Companion to the Bible,” “ Key to the Bible,” &c. &c. With Counsels to Mothers in 
teaching Religion to their Children. By Mrs. Hannah More. 



Just published, in cloth, gilt edges, illustrated with Ten Engravings, price I 5 ., 

WHAT HAVE I TO DO WITH MISSIONS ? Exhibiting the Miseries 

and Degradation of the Heathen Nations ; and the Duty of all to support Christian Missions. 
Designed especially for the Use of Missionary Collectors. By the Rev. T. Timpson. 

Just published, price Is.Gd., cloth lettered, 

THE OLD MINISTRY; or, The Inefficiency of Modern Preaching 
compared with the Apostolic Administration of the Gospel. By N. S. S. Beman, D.D., 
of the United States of America. 

To the Friends of Missions and Sabbath-school Teachers, 


■writer of Missionary Stories,” &c. Monthly, with an Engraving. Price Id. 

This Magazine has now been established more than three years. Its object is to circulate 
Missionary intelligence, and to diffuse a Missionary spirit among the young. The con¬ 
tributors are Missionaries and other warm friends to the cause of Missions ; and the labour 
of all the pai'ties concerned in it is gratuitous. It has recently been enlarged and improved, 
and specially adapted for the use of Sunday-school children. 


Just published, whole bound in cloth, and lettered, price 2s., with a recommendatory Preface 

by Professor Vaughan, of the London University, 

AIDS to MEMORY; or, the Principal Facts and Dates of the Old 
Testament History, and of the subsequent History of the Jews, to the period of the Incar¬ 
nation, embodied in Short Mnemonic Sentences, on the plan of Mrs. J. Slater's “ Sententige 
Chronologicae.” By Mrs. Jukes. 

“ A very sensible and ingenious little volume, developing a simple and ingenious plan by which the 
dates of Scriptural Events may be easily treasured up in the memory. It is enough to -say that it is recom¬ 
mended by the Rev. Dr. Vaughan, the eminent Professor of History in University College.”— Revivalist. 

Just published, eighth edition, (Sixteenth Thousand,) in 32mo., cloth lettered. Is. 6d.; 

or, in white silk, lettered, 2s. 6t?., 

gestions to Husbands and Wives. A Companion for the Honey Moon, and a Remembrancer 
for Life. With an Appendix, containing Extracts on the subject of Marriage, from the 
wTitings of several Christian Divines. By John Morison, D.D. 

Also, by the same Author, 

COUNSELS for the COMMUNION TABLE ; or, Persuasives to an 

Immediate Observance of the Lord’s Supper. Third Edition. Silk, 2^. 6fZ.; cloth. Is. &d. 


reciprocating their Pastor^ Cai*e. Thh’d Edition. Silk, 2s. 6d. ; boards. Is. 6d. 

COUNSELS to the YOUNG. Fourth Edition. Price Is. 3d. cloth ; 

bound in silk, with gilt edges, 2s. 


In one handsome volume, 8vo., bound in cloth, and lettered, price only 2s. 6d., 


BOOK of PROVERBS. By the Rev. Matthew Henry. 

“ An invaluable work, adapted for all classes, especially for Youth. Every family in the kingdom should 
possess a copy of this book.” 

In one volume, 18mo., cloth lettered, price 2s. 6d., 

THE NEW' TESTAMENT, translated from the ORIGINAL GREEK. 

The Gospels, by George Campbell, D.D. ; the Acts and Revelation, by Philip Dod¬ 
dridge, D.D. ; the Epistles, by James Macknight, D.D. 

In imperial 8vo., cheap edition, price only Is., 

THE STUDENT’S GUIDE; designed, by specific directions, to aid 
in forming and strengthening the Intellectual and Moral Character and Habits of Students 
in every Profession. By the Rev. John Todd. 



Just published, price ^d., 


to the limited efficiency of the Gospel in their own country. By the Rev. John Ely, 
of Leeds. 


MASSACRE at ERROMANGA of this devoted Missionary, are printed in Oil Colours, 
and intended to embellish the Drawing Room of Friends to the Missionary cause, forming 
a Pair of splendid Pictures, and may be obtained of Mr. Baxter, the Patentee, 3, Charter¬ 
house-square; and of Mr. Snow, at 21. 10s. per pair; or, in Gold Frames, at 4/. 2s. 
per pair. 

Upwards of 100 guineas have already been added to the Funds for the Widow and Family, 
by the sale of the Pictures. 



Essay on Marriage. Price Is. 6d. 


tise on the Lord’s Supper. Price 6d. 

THEOLOGY FOR YOUTH. A System written expressly for Bible 
Classes, the Higher Orders of Sunday Schools, and the Elder Branches of Families. Sixth 
Edition. Price Is. 

A CATECHISM on FIRST PRINCIPLES. Seventh Edit. Threepence. 

Edition. Fourpence. 


Edition. Fourpence. 

THE MARROW" of MODERN HYMN BOOKS, for the Use of Sunday 

Schools, &c. Ninth Edition. Fourpence. 

“ We like the book exceedingly, and wish it extensive circulation .”—Congregational Magazine. 


original and selected. Third Edition. 24rao., sheep, 3s.; and roan embossed, gilt edges, 4s. 

“ Whether we look at the quality of the Hymns, the immense number and variety of the selection or the 
admirable contents, index of texts, and the general lists of subjects, we cannot but award to this volume the 
highest place of any work of its kind that has yet met our eye. This may seem extravagant praise but we 
challenge investigation of the opinion thus deliberately given, and assure ourselves, that those who will 
take the trouble of examining for themselves will not hesitate to fall in with our conclusion. The utmost 
pains must have been bestowed by Mr. Campbell on every department the Comprehensive Hymn 
Book .”—Evafigelical Magazine. 

In one volume, 12mo., cloth, lettered, price 2^. 6d., 


Just published, price 6d., 

A SCOTCHMAN ABROAD. By Richard Knill, Missionary. 

Just published, for general circulation, price Id., 


KNILL, Missionary. 

Twentieth Thousand. Cheap edition. Price only Id., 

THE AIORNING WALK. This interesting little book, of which Eio-ht 
Thousand copies have been sold at the price of Sixpence, is now reduced to One Penny^ in 
the hope that great and lasting good may result from its still more extended circulation. 
It is particularly recommended to the notice of Christian Instruction Societies and of Sunday 
School Teachers. ^ 

Price Is. 6d., 

THE CENTENARY SERVICES in celebration of George White- 
field’s Open-air Ministrations, held at the Tabernacle, Moorfields, May 21st. 



Just published, in 12ino., cloth, price 45., 

THEODOXA : a Treatise on Divine Praise. By Nathaniel Rowton. 

“ Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me.”—Psa, 1. 23. 

“ There are hardly any Treatises on Praise in our language; it is a much neglected part of religious in¬ 
struction, at least in publications.”— Bickersletk's Christian Truth, 

Just published, price l5. GJ., 


Guide in forming Connexions for Life. By the Rev. W. Jones. 

“ The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took wives of all that they 
chose.”— Moses. 

Just published, price 3d., 

“NO POPERY.” The Cry Examined. 

“ Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee.” 

“ Here are sixteen pages of powerful writing. We have seen large and respectable volumes on the same 
subject of which they treat, which have not contained so much argument and so much spirit. * * * it 
ought to be circulated by thousands.”— Nonconformist. 

“The production of an acute and vigorous mind; admirably exposes the hollowness of the cry so pre¬ 
valent among a certain class—that numerous race who denounce Romanism with their lips, w'hile, in 
their souls they cherish it. It might be profitably circulated in large numbers by individuals and 
societies.”— Christian Examiner. 

“ Particularly interesting at the present time.”— Voluntary. 

“We cordially recommend this spirit-stirring pamphlet. It plainly shows what is the real essence of 
Popery.— Home Missionary Magazine. 

“ Sober, argumentative, and ably written.”— Silent Preacher. 

“A brief but able exposure of those who are so forward to revive this hypocritical war-cry; showing 
that if there is to be ‘ No Popery,’ the Roman Catholic Church is not the only one that must be put down. 
This spirited little tract deserves extensive circulation.”— Patriot. 

“ A powerful essay, in which volumes of thought are condensed into a few pages. Wc strongly recom¬ 
mend this tract to the attention of all true Protestants in the church and out of it.”— Congregational 

Just published, price 4t?., 

JUSTIFICATION by FAITH : the Scriptural View of this important 
Doctrine, as opposed to the Errors of Puseyism. A Discourse delivered at the Monthly 
Lecture of the Associated Ministers of Bristol. By the Rev. John Jack. 

Just published, in 32mo., gilt edges, price 4<?., 

THE ONLY SON. A brief Memorial of a Young Teacher. By John 

Adey, Minister of Union Chapel, Horsleydown, Southwark. 

Just published, price 4t?., 

THESE TIMES : a Tract for the Young, showing the Claims which 

Religious Truth has upon their Attention and Zeal. By John Jefferson. 

Lately published, price 8^?., 

TRUTH MADE SIMPLE : being a System of Theology for Children, 
on the Character of God. By the Rev. John Todd, Pastor of the First Congregational 
Church of Philadelphia ; Author of Student’s Manual,” Sabbath-school Teacher,” &c. 

Just published, in 18mo., cloth lettered, price l5. 6d., or cloth cut edges, price I 5 ., 

MANASSEH. A Prize Essay on the Extension and Prosperity of the 
General Baptist Connexion, as a half-tribe of the Israel of God. By James Peggs, late 
Missionary in Orisssa; Author of “ India’s Cries to British Humanity a Prize Essay on 
Capital Punishment, &c. 

“ In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh.”—Gen. xlviii. 20. 

Also, by the same Author, price I 5 ., 

A CRY from the TOMBS ; or. Facts and Observations on the Impropriety 

of burying the Dead among the Living, in various Ages and Nations. 

Lately published, in 12mo., cloth, price 55., 

SERMONS on VARIOUS TEXTS. By the Rev. John Jack, Pastor of 

the Church in Castle Green Meeting, Bristol. 



Just published, price id., 


of CHRIST, ELUCIDATED and ENFORCED. A Discourse delivered at Henley-on- 
Thames, on Tuesday, April 19, 1842, before the East Berks Association. By the Rev. E. 
Mannering. Published for the benefit of the Association. 

Just published, price Is. cloth, 6d. sewed, 

PUSEYISM; or, the Errors of the Times. By the Rev. Robert 
Fergusson, Minister of Brickfield Chapel, Stratford, London. 

“If Rome be right, these persons do not go far enough; but if Rome be wrong, they have gone much 
too far.”— Sibihorp. 


Just published, 8vo., cloth lettered, price 6s., 


against ROMANISM and PUSEYISM. By Rev. James Godkin, author of “A Guide 
to the Church of Christ,” &c. 

This day is published, in 8vo., price Is. 6t?., 


BAPTISM; in Reply to Alexander Carson, LL.D. By John Munro, Minister of the 
Gospel, Knockando, author of “ Essays on God’s Covenant and Church,” &c. 

“ So shall he sprinkle many nations.”— Isaiah. 

“ Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean.”— Ezekiel. 

In Commemoration of the Triumphant Success of the Missionary Cause which attended the 

Exertions of the 


Mr. GEORGE BAXTER, of 3, Charter House-square, London, acting 
upon the suggestion of many of the most eminent Christian philanthropists, has engaged to 
publish, in OIL COLOURS, the PORTRAITS of these two distinguished and honoured 
men ; the first of whom spent and ended a life in establishing and enforcing, in many of the 
islands of the South Seas, the great truths of the Christian religion; the other, who yet 
survives, having, for a period of twenty-three years, given himself up to the instruction of 
the benighted African, amidst hardships and privations of every kind. It is expected that 
accurate and beautifully executed Portraits of such missionary labourers will be deemed an 
acceptable offering to the Religious World, and tend to uphold a cause founded upon the 
purest principles of Christian philanthropy. 

Price of each Portrait to Subscribers, Prints, 10s. 6^?.; Proofs, 15s. To Non-Subscribers, 
Prints, 12s.; Proofs, \l. Is. Size, 10|^ inches by 8^. 

Subscribers’ Names received by Mr. George Baxter, the patentee of Oil-colour Printing, 
3, Charter House-square; and by Mr. Snow, Paternoster-row, London. 

Just published, Second Edition, price 2s., 

THE TEACHER’S FAREWELL. A Parting Gift to Elder Scholars 

on their leaving the Sunday School. By the author of “ Little Robert’s First Day at the 
Sabbath School.” With an Address to the Reader. By Henry Althans, Esq. 

This day is published, in one handsome volume, royal 12mo, with Portrait, cloth lettered, 

price 6s., 

SERMONS on VARIOUS SUBJECTS. By the late Rev. Ebenezer 
Temple, of Rochford, Essex. Selected from his manuscripts. With a Biographical Sketch 
of the Author. By his Widow. 

Just published. Second Edition, 18mo, cloth lettered, price 2s., 

CHRISTIAN CONSISTENCY; or, the Connexion between Experimen¬ 

tal and Practical Religion. Designed for young Christians. By E. Mannering. 

Just jmblished, 18mo,, cloth lettered, price 2s., 


Families, and Churches. By E. Mannering, HOrwell Mount Chapel. 

Now publishing, in Monthly Parts, price 6d. each, 

SIX VIEWS of INFIDELITA^. By Rev. Joseph Fletcher. 

In 8vo., price Is., 

CHRISTIAN PATRIOTISM. A Sermon, preached before the friends of 
the Home Missionary Society, at the Poultry Chapel, on Monday evening. May 16th, 1842. 
By the Rev. John Harris, D.D. 



Just published, 18mo., cloth lettered, price 6d., 

CHRISTIANITY in the EAST. By the Rev. W. Buyers, author of 

“ Letters on India.” 

Just published, price Twopence, 

AN ADDRESS delivered before the MEMBERS of the SALFORD 
SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION, at their First Quarterly Meeting, held September 7th, 
1842, on the Principles which should be recognized, and the Objects which should be pur¬ 
sued, by Sunday School Unions. By A. J. Morris. 

In 12mo., cloth lettered, price 2s., 

Doctrines, Discipline, and Ordinances of the CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES, com¬ 
monly called “ INDEPENDENT.” By J. S. Bright. 


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the Writer of “ Missionary Stories.” 

The profits to be appropriated to the relief of the persecuted Christians in Madagascar. 

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almost makes us wish that we were young again. The construction and style are a model for works of 
tin's class.”— Patriot. 

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proceedings. An admirable reward-book for Sunday-schools.”— Evangelical Magazine. 

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Eclectic Review. 

“ The author is, we think, eminently successful. It rejoices us to see one of such attainments conse¬ 
crating the powers of a gifted mind to so noble a service.”— Sunday School Teacher's Magazine. 

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Easter Tuesday. 

By the writer of “ A Letter to the Children of the British Isles.” 


Engravings. Price 3t?. 

Heathen Parents. 

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The Bechuana Girl. 

The Prayer of the Little Ne¬ 


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How to be useful at Home. 

A Letter to Children. 

I Wonder Why I Don’t Suc¬ 

Hannah Kilpin. 

Hans Egede and Family. 
Moravian Missionaries in 

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Heathen Children. 


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Life of the Rev. J. Campbell. 

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This day is published, with Three Engravings, price If?., 

MARY GUTZLAFF, the blind Chinese girl. By the Mh'iter of “ Mis¬ 

sionary Stories.” 



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chiefly by Himself. With Specimens of his Correspondence with the Countess of Leven, 
Sir Walter Scott, John Newton, Scott the Commentator, Abraham Booth, Andrew Fuller, 
the Haldanes, Charles of Bala, Wilberforce, Macaulay, Grant, &c. &c.; with an Analysis of 
his Character by Dr. Philip. By Robert Philip. 


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MISSIONARY SOCIETY. By William Garland Barrett, of the London Missionary 

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Missionary Society in that Island. 

Just published, price in cloth, 6c?., or sewed. Ad., 


By Robert Philip, Author of the Experimental Guides,’' and the Lives of Wliitefield, 
Bunyan, Dr. Milne, and Mr. Campbell. 


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J* Snow begs to call particular attention to the ■yery reduced prices of these 
elegant editions of Watts's Psalms and Hymns, especially those in morocco binding. 


Pearl and Ruby Bibles, 24mo, Roan embossed, gilt edges 
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Ditto do. 24mo, do. elegant 

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A la*^v, assortment in various sizes and bindings. 

1 10 
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.1. SNOW begs to announce that, in consequence of numerous inquiries having 
been made for the Holy Scriptures on fine paper, he has much pleasure in submit¬ 
ting the following List of Bibles, which, from their varied and elegant bindings, are 
especially adapted for handsome presents, or suitable rewards in Sabbath-schools. 
Terms, cash only, at these very low prices :—■ 


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8 6 
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« • • • 

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Just puhl/shed in royal l2mo, IO5. 6d., with beautiful Frontispiece in Oil Colours^ 




Illustrated from the Labours, Death, and Character of the late Rer. JOHN WILLIAMS. 



“ Not that we are blind to what we conceive to be 
its defects; but in the originality of its plan, the force 
and elegance of its diction, the profundity and com¬ 
prehensiveness of its views, and the spirit of hallowed 
devotion which it breathes, we are, at present, unac¬ 
quainted with any work on the subject which can bear 
a comparison with it. None but a vast and vigorotis 
intellect, enlightened and sanctified by the sacred 
truths of Christianity, could have produced such a 
volume. It will, in our humble judgment, encompass 
the name and character of the author with the laurels 
of an imperishable renown, whilst its influence on 
the churches of Christ cannot fail to form a memor¬ 
able epoch in their history. 

“ With reluctance we take our leave of the author 
and his invaluable production; and never, while 
memory holds her seat, shall we forget the intense 
interest, the heart-thrilling emotions with which we 
have perused and lingered over the pages of the 
‘ Martyr of Erromanga.’”— Methodist New Connexion 

“No uninspired book has ever done such service 
to the cause of Peace, as the ‘ Martyr of Erromanga.’ 
To the prosecution of this Divine-like purpose, he 
brings a mind of no ordinary powers and acquire¬ 
ments, and reading of a prodigious amount, genius 
and imagination truly poetical, with a stern honesty 
of aim, and a sanctified zeal for truth.”— Herald of 

“ A work among the most extraordinary and most 
sterling productions of sanctified genius.”— Christian 

“ Never before has the Missionary Enterprise been 
placed in such a variety of commanding and all- 
subduing aspects.”— Evangelical Mag. 

“ One of the most original and extraordinary 
works of the present day. For keen, philosophic 
penetration into the secret workings of Missions— 
for a deep insight into the elements of human cha¬ 
racter—for a vast compass of reading, observing, and 
recording—for elegant classical allusions and ima¬ 
geries—for felicitous thought and powerful diction— 
and for stern honesty of purpose to tell the truth, 
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; take it 
all in all, it will be long before we see such a work 
again.”— Congregational Magazine. 

“ Could only have been written by a man of in¬ 
dependent and powerful intellect, strongly excited 
by his theme.”— Baptist Magazine. 

“ The Martyr of Erromanga proves its author to 
be a man possessing literary talents of a very high 
order—his powers of perception are both minute 
and comprehensive—his invention fertile—his ima¬ 
gination rich and beautiful—his knowledge of an¬ 
cient and modern literature, of men, of history, and 
science, is most extensive; his powers of illustration 
appear to be unbounded, and his eloquence is chaste, 
fervid, and copious. He has given us a rich cabinet 
of moral pictures, in which we have portrayed, 
by a master’s hand, the characters of a host of the 
men of renown of both ancient and modern times.” 
— Wesleyan Methodist Association Magazine. 

“The Philosophy of Missions is illustrated with 
much learning, eloquence, and acuteness. It is as 
fascinating as an intimate knowledge of history, 
singular keenness in the analysis of personal cha¬ 
racter, intens-e feeling, and sustained animation of 
style, can be supposed to make a book, in the com¬ 
position of which such happy qualities concur.”— 
The Voluntary. 

“There is, from beginning to end, a current of 
powerful writing bearing along with it cogent 

arguments and apt illustrations.”— Wesleyan'Metho- 
dist Magazine. 

“ One of the most remarkable and most valuable 
books on the subject to which it relates, that we 
have ever read.”— Revivalist. 

“ This is a book for the times, and a most extra¬ 
ordinary book it is ; bold and original in its plan, 
and displaying gigantic powers of mind in its execu¬ 
tion.—There is genius displayed in the mere map¬ 
ping of such a work; the power exhibited in its 
execution excites not merely admiration, but aston¬ 
ishment.—We are not more struck with the extent 
of his resources than with his admirable skill and 
facility in using them. There is, we might almost 
say, a lavish expenditure, yet there is not the ap¬ 
pearance of meretricious display.—It is not the mere 
versatility of intellectual power in the use of rich 
and varied resources which we admire, so much as 
the qualities of heart—the amazing capacity of mo¬ 
ral sympathy with which the author enters into the 
very heart and soul of the particular representative 
personage whom, for the time, he is addressing.”— 
The Scottish Congregational Magazine. 

“ He is one of the most earnest thinkers and vigo¬ 
rous writers of the day. He strikes out new courses 
of thought, and brings arichnessand variety of illus¬ 
tration to bear on his positions, which we rarely meet 
with in the works of modern divines.”— Observer. 

“ The work in every part displays intimate know¬ 
ledge of the subject handled,—a great strength of 
mind, and just conceptions—and, at the same time, 
an animation and eloquence far beyond those of 
the mass of writers of the present day.”— Glasgow 

“ It is the book of the age, and must be read to be 
appreciated. It will be found to be the production 
of a master-mind; rich in matter of animating and 
diversified interest; clothed in a style of captivating 
beauty and intense energy; and evincing through¬ 
out, the sound theologian, as well as the elegant 
scholar and the man of classic taste.”— Bath and 
Cheltenham Gazette. 

“ It evinces the possession of large resources, and 
peculiar readiness and aptitude in using them. The 
style is animated and vigorous throughout; and the 
writing is more careful and exact than that of the 
author’s earlier works, yet without being ever suf¬ 
fered to cool his marvellous fervour.”— Patriot. 

“ The book is written with such a power of elo¬ 
quence, and the style is generally so chaste and ele¬ 
gant, that we trust it will make its way among the 
aristocracy.”— Cheltenham Free Press. 

“ Abounds with passages of earnest and original 
thinking, written with great vigour, and often spark¬ 
ling with the felicity of the illustrations introduced. 
Many passages are instinct wuth eloquence of no 
common order.”— Morning Advertiser. 

“ Written in a fervent spirit, and aifordingk.much 
entertainment as well as instruction. Showing 
various and copious knowledge, and just senti¬ 
ments ”— Tail's Magazine. 

“ Much of force and graphic power. A book that 
is so remarkable in sundry ways, cannot fail to ob¬ 
tain many readers.”— Monthly Review. 

“ Hitherto, nothing of the kind has issued from 
the press. We recommend the volume as one of ex¬ 
traordinary merit ”— Scottish Pilot. 

“An elaborate, and we most willingly add, a highly 
talented production on the ‘ Philosophy of Missions.’ 
It views the subject of Missions in many novel and 
important aspects, and displays no common share of 
erudition and talent.”— Christian Journal. 

London :—JOHN SNOW, 35, Paternostep.-pow 

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Preaching at Mosheu’s Villap^e.—(See paire 596.) 

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The deep interest which your Royal Highness has 
taken in the Niger Expedition, is not the only reason 
which prompted the Writer to aspire to the honour 
of your distinguished patronage. The House of 
Saxony is pre-eminently identified with the great 
Reformer; and the protection which it yielded to 
Luther against the power of Rome, will, through all 
ages, redound to its honour. The force of these con¬ 
siderations is still farther augmented hy the alliance 
of your Royal Highness with the British throne; for, 
from the commencement of the London Missionary 
Society, the Kings of England have been the uniform 
patrons of its literature. The Narrative of its First 
great Missionary Voyage, performed in the years 
1796, 1797, and 1798, was dedicated to George III., 
by whose order the Voyages of Discovery were first 




undertaken which brought into view the numerous 
Islands of the Pacific Ocean. The Voyages and Tra¬ 
vels round the World, made by a Deputation from the 
same Society, between the years 1821 and 1829, were 
inscribed to William IV. The same sovereign also 
graciously accepted the dedication of the Missionary 
Enterprises in the South Seas, by my late lamented 
brother, the Eev. John Williams. On these grounds 
I solicited the permission which your Royal High¬ 
ness has so condescendingly granted, of dedicating 
this volume to the Illustrious Consort of the British 

Your Royal Highness is well aware that all 
methods of effecting the civilization of Africa, apart 
from the Gospel of Christ, have hitherto proved 
abortive; but it is presumed that the present Nar¬ 
rative will demonstrate, that, in every instance where 
the Gospel has been introduced, it has effected a 
complete revolution in the character and habits of 
its people. Philosophy must eventually confess her 
impotence ; the pride of Science he humbled ; and 
the fact be universally acknowledged, that the Gospel 
of Christ is the only instrument which can civilize 
and save all kindreds and nations of the earth. This 
has been verified by the labours of Missionaries in 
South Africa, and we have only to publish it through 
the length and breadth of that great Continent, in 
order to elevate and cheer its degraded and sorrowing 
inhabitants, and introduce them to the fellowship 



of civilized nations. To those who sincerely desire 
to prove benefactors to that afflicted land, nothing 
remains but to apply the means already at onr 
disposal. In this high enterprise of religion and 
humanity all may share, and it is surely worthy the 
combined efforts of all classes of all countries. Nor 
is there, I humbly conceive, any other undertaking 
among men so deserving the patronage of Princes 
and the smile of Kings. In this great work. Mer¬ 
chants, Politicians, Philosophers, Philanthropists and 
' Statesmen,—all may find an appropriate place and 
perform a laudable service. 

To this stupendous enterprise your Royal Highness 
enjoys the means of rendering signal benefit. A 
lively interest on the part of your Royal Highness, 
in the different Christian Missions which have been, 
or which may yet be, established in Africa, would 
be attended with consequences of incalculable value. 
Of the influence which may be exerted on a whole 
nation by a single Prince, enlightened by Philosophy 
and animated by Piety, Don Henry, Duke of Viseo, 
the fifth son of John I., as your Royal Highness 
will remember, has left an illustrious example. This 
distinguished personage was the first royal European 
friend to Africa. He to whom the School of Modern 
Navigation owes its origin, and to whom Portugal 
is indebted for all the glory of her discoveries, was 
impelled, in all his projects, through a long life, by 
the spirit of Missions. His achievements in relation 

A 2 



to Africa, have immortalized his name ; but a work 
immeasurably greater still remains to be accom¬ 
plished on its behalf. The honour of this work, 
I would fondly hope, is reserved for my beloved 
country ; and that the historians of future times will 
record that Prince Henry of Portugal found a suc¬ 
cessor and superior in Prince Albert of England. 

May that gracious Providence, to whose protecting 
power the Writer owes so much, preserve your Poyal 
Highness, and your Royal Consort, our Illustrious 
Queen, through many years, to promote the glory 
of God and the welfare of mankind ! 

I have the honour to remain. 

Your Royal Highness's 
Most humble, most obliged, and 
Most grateful Servant, 



The writer offers the following pages to the churches of his 
country as an humble contribution to their stock of know¬ 
ledge relative to heathen lands. It contains a faithful 
record of events which have occurred within the range of 
his experience and observation, and supplies much that may 
serve to illustrate the peculiar attributes of African society. 
It may, he ventures to hep^, tend materially to promote 
the study of the philosophy of missions. It will furnish 
both the Sage and the Divine with facts for which perhaps 
they were not prepared, and exhibit phases of humanity 
which they have not hitherto observed. It will further show 
that, amid circumstantial differences, there is a radical identity 
in the operations of human depravity, in Asia, in Polynesia, 
and in Africa ; and that while the Gospel is the only, it is 
also the uniform, remedy for the distress of a world convulsed 
by sin, and writhing with anguish. It will present striking 
examples of the complete subjugation of some of the fiercest 
spirits that ever trod the burning sands of Africa, or shed 
the blood of her sable offspring. 

The Writer has indulged but slightly in philosophical 
disquisition, as he deemed it his province principally to 
supply facts. He leaves it with men of leisure and reflecting 
habits to analyze, compare, and deduce from those facts 
such doctrines as they supply. Indeed, little in this way 
can be added to the luminous works of Drs. Campbell and 



Harris, and Messrs. Hamilton, Noel, and others, by whom 
the subject of Missions bas been so learnedly and eloquently 
illustrated. He hopes no apology will be deemed necessary 


for any imperfections which may appear in the prepara¬ 
tion of his Narrative. The collocation of terms, and the 
polish of periods, have made but a small part of his studies. 
Such pursuits, he conceives, were not the objects for which 
he was sent to Africa, and they would have but ill comported 
with the circumstances in which he spent a large portion of 
his arduous life on that benighted continent. He feels con¬ 
fident that lettered men will look into the pages of an African 
Evangelist for things far more substantial and important than 
the graces of composition—an accomplishment which the 
Author much admires, but to which he makes no pretension. 
He makes his present appearance before the British public 
less in the capacity of an Author than of a Witness, who 
most earnestly desires to establish and to enforce the claims 
of perishing, and helpless, and all but friendless millions, 
for whom he has hitherto lived and laboured—whom he 
ardently loves, and with whom—all black, barbarous, and 
benighted as they are—he hopes to live, labour, and die 1 
Inured to active habits, and unaccustomed to sedentary 
pursuits as the Writer has been, he has found the prepara¬ 
tion of the present volume, in addition to the translation of 
the Scriptures and of other books, and the almost unremit¬ 
ting labours of the pulpit and the platform, an arduous 
undertaking. This task has been attended with a multiplicity 
of mental exercises of a very diversified character. Some 
of these exercises have been solemn and painful, others 
sweet and soothing. He has been led to retrace the wind¬ 
ings of a long and chequered pilgrimage, and to live over 
again much of his by-gone life. The review has, in many 
parts, been deeply humbling, but in all highly profitable. It 



lias been refreshing to recount the mercies of the God whom 
he serves, which have been abundantly vouchsafed to him 
and his household in distant climes, and amid savage men. 
lie has also ofttimes rejoiced in spirit, when he called to 
mind the displays of Divine grace which have attended his 
ver}^ imperfect efforts to save the lost, and to benefit those 
who had no benefactor. Of time, however, he has often 
been reminded, that, as much is gone, little remains ; while 
even that little trembles in the balance of an awful uncer¬ 
tainty. Of those who began at the same period with him¬ 
self the career of missionary toil, the greater number have 
sunk into the grave ; and not a few of those who followed 
long after, have also been gathered to their fathers. He is 
especially reminded of one, much honoured and endeared, 
whose tragical death of all others, has most affected him. 
John Williams and he were accepted by the Directors at the 
same time and designated to the work of God, at Surrey 
Chapel, on the same occasion. The fields of their service were 
both arduous, although of a widely different character. After 
much trial and many dangers, both have been permitted to 
return to their native land, and to publish narratives of their 
respective labours. Thus far they run parallel ; but here 
they part company. The Martyr of Erromanga” has 
finished his course, and rests from his labours: while his 
early friend still lives amidst the conflict. The Writer now 
feels that his work in England is done, and that the spirit 
of the stranger and the pilgrim is stealing powerfully over 
him. He longs once more to brave the might}'' ocean ; and 
eagerly anticipates the hour when he shall again reach the 
shores of his adopted country, and appear in the midst of the 
children of the Wilderness. 

Amidst the dangers of the Deep, and the trials of the 
Desert, the Author will reflect with satisfaction upon the 



testimony he has left behind him to the condition and claims 
of the far-distant tribes of South Africa. He is not without 
hope that it will, in some measure, serve to give him an 
interest in the sympathies and prayers of the Christian 
public when he will be far hence among the Gentiles.” 
He leaves it to the churches of Britain as a memento of 
poor, degraded Africa. He hopes that all who peruse it, 
reflecting upon that unhappy and much injured region, wdll 
feel the urgency of its claims, and fervently supplicate the 
Throne of Grace on its behalf! 

He bequeaths his book as a legacy of grateful affection to 
the multitudes of all classes, from whom he has received 
tokens of personal kindness, which, while life lasts, he will 
ever remember; and as an expression of a deep solicitude to 
promote the diffusion of the Gospel in that Continent to 
which his labours have been more especially directed. 

Walworth, London, 
May 24, 1842. 

R. M. 




General view of the state of Africa—Attempts to explore—Supposed origin 
of the Hottentots—How population extended—Oi’igin of the Bushmen 
tribes—Their extent—Bechuana Bushmen—Their suffering and degrada¬ 
tion—Variety of dialect accounted for—The Tamahas—Melancholy view 
ofBushman country—The Kafir origin and character—Countries of the 
Basutos and Bechuanas—Namaquas and Damaras—Description of the 
Karroo—A dry and barren country . . . . .1 


First Mission to South Africa—Mr. Schmidt’s success—Mission resumed 
—Mission to the Kafirs—Dr. Yanderkemp leaves Cape Town—Enters 
Kafir-land—Suspicions of the Kafirs—Ignorance of the natives—The 
Doctor’s colleague leaves him—The Doctor’s devotedness and humility— 

Gaika solicits him to make rain—His self-denial and perils—A Hottentot 
woman—Enmity of some colonists—Awful retribution—Kafir mission 
abandoned . . . . . . . .19 


Dr. Vanderkemp’s mission commenced among the Hottentots—Tlie Gover¬ 
nor’s kindness—The station attacked—Trying circumstances—Escape to 
Fort Frederick—Bethelsdorp—Successes of Dr. V.’s efforts—His death 
and character—Character continued—A remarkable * incident—Kat 
River mission—Kafir mission resumed—Affecting scene—Williams’s 
death—Brownlee finally resumes the mission—Effects of the Gospel . 34 


Bushmen apply for teachers—Mr. Kicherergoes to Zak River—Difficulties 
and sacrifices—Liberality of the farmers—Mission abandoned—The con¬ 
dition of the Bushmen—Lichtenstein’s opinion — The Bushmen’s re¬ 
sources and habits—Provoking characteristics—Inhuman practice—Mr. 
Kicherer’s description—Cruelty to offspring—Bushmen possess amiable 
qualities—Missions resumed at Toornberg, &c.—Missionaries ordered 
into the Colony—Mr. Faure’s affecting statement—Review of missions 
to the Bushmen—Plan recommended—The Bushmen and the goats— 
Stratagem in hunting . . . . • . .49 




Geographical position of Namaqua-land—When first-visited by Missionaries 
—Topography—Character and language of the inhabitants—Influence of 
foreign intercourse—Privations of the first missionaries-—Their feelings 
—They cross the boundaries of the Colony—Cornelius Kok—Com¬ 
mencement of labours—First intervie-w -with Africaner—His ancestry— 
Oppressions—Revenge—-The catastrophe—Africaner’s escape to the 
Orange River—War -with the Berends—A testimony—Africaner attacks 
a banditti—His mode of -warfare—His cattle stolen—He storms the as¬ 
sailants—Nicholas Berend ...... 


Missionaries settle at Warm Bath—The people of their charge—Africaner 
joins the mission—Death of A. Albrecht—Pleasing prospects blasted— 
Murder of Hans Drayer—Painful dilemma—^Trying alternative—A 
curious exhumation—Warm Bath destroyed—Hints to new mission¬ 
aries—Death of Mrs. Albrecht—Light at even-tide 


The Rev. J. Campbell writes to Africaner^—Mr. Ebner sent to the mission 
—Journey to Namaqua-land—Yiews of young travellers—No choice— 
Driving loose cattle—Awkward circumstances—The lost sheep — Swollen 
river—Leave Bysondermeid—A desert scene —Oxen run away—Mr. 
Bartlett arrives—Arrive at Pella—Cross the Orange River—A vigorous 
contest ......... 


The Author arrives at Africaner’s kraal—Expeditious building—Comforts 
of a native house—Reflections—Perplexing circumstances—Titus Afri¬ 
caner—Mr. Ebner leaves—Disposition of the people—Prospects bidghten 
■—Africaner’s thirst for knowledge—Titus becomes friendly—Quarrelhng 
wives—Africaner and civilization—His benevolence — His pacific efforts 
—The Author’s illness—David and Jacobus Africaner—A thunder-storm 
—Dying scene ........ 


Projected journey—Making bellows—Commencement of journey—Geolo¬ 
gical observations—Travelling fare—Poisonous honey—Ignorance of the 
natives—Mr. Schmelen’s journal—Other testimonies—Mistakes of tra¬ 
vellers—Supposed tradition of deluge—A sorcerer 


Return homeward—The lion and giraffe—A night scene—Terror of oxen 
at a lion—Inhuman custom—Search for water—A mother left to perish 

—Human depravity—Want of natural affection—Sagacity of the lion_ 

The lion’s leap—Horrible position—Mode of frightening lions—Suf- 










ferings in the desert—Scenes at the water—Missionaries of former times 
—Itinerating fare—A scuffle with the lion—Night associates—Bachelor’s 
Hall—The Author’s wardrobe . . . . . .128 


Journey to Griqua country—The Coranna chief—Unj)leasant ride—Sleep¬ 
ing in the sand—Scenes on the Orange River—The crow and tortoise— 

The Author drinks poisoned water—Native poisons—Kindness of Bush¬ 
men—Arrive at Kwees—A desert serenade—Leaving the river—Some 
of the party wander—Pursued by a lion—Extreme hunger and thirst— 

An encounter with baboons—Desperate circumstances —Description of 
the mirage—Polluted water—Arrive at Griqua Town—Visit to Lattakoo 
—Providential escape—Return to the desert—Thunder storm—A wet 
night’s lodging—Providential supply—Encounter with a hippopotamus 
—Arrive at the station ....... 149 


Journey to Cape Town—The power of the Gospel—Africaner’s critical 
position—A ludicrous scene—Incredulity of a farmer—The surprise— 
Africaner’s visit to the Governor—Sensation produced—The Author ap¬ 
pointed to the Bechuanas—Africaner conveys his goods to Lattakoo— 

His death—His early experience—Dreams and visions—Africaner’s 
dream—The Author’s anxiety about the mission—Why relinquished— 
Wesleyans resume the mission—Mr. Backhouse’s testimony—Difficulties 
inevitable—Prospective view . . . . . .173 


Mission to the Griquas—Its origin and character—Devotedness of the 
missionaries — Mr. Anderson’s description—Their former character — 
Progress in civilization—A threatened attack averted—Impolitic measure 
—Critical position—Mr. Anderson leaves—The Author joins Mr. Helm 
—Waterboer elected chief—His thirst for information—Origin of Berge- 
naars — Attacks on Griqua Town—Generous conduct—Missionary in¬ 
fluence—Retributive providence — Favourable change—Successes—Wa- 
terboer’s government—Missionaries Government agents—How far a 
missionary can interfere in civil affairs—Life saved — Sir A. Stocken- 
strom’s testimony—Treaties a wise policy — Chiefs defended—State and 
prospects ........ 192 


Retrospective view—The prospective—First visitors to the Bechuanas— 
The chief Molehabangue—Messrs. Edwards and Kok—A dangerous ex¬ 
pedient—Awful consequences—Honourable conduct in a heathen—Dan¬ 
ger from Bushmen—The Bergover families—Murder of a father and 
daughter—A dreadful situation—A heart-rending scene—A party visit 
Lithako—A massacre—Dr. Lichtenstein’s visit—Cowan and Denovan 




— Dr. Burcliell’s travels —Difficulties in the language — Mr. Campbell’s 
cheering prospects — Missionaries sent to Lithako —Interview with the 
king— Missionaries rejected —Gloomy reflections—Causes of failure— 

Mr. Evans relinquishes the mission . . . . .212 


Mr. Reed succeeds in obtaining consent—Great wisdom required—Suspi¬ 
cions of the natives—Difficulty of obtaining confidence—A commando 
defeated—Encouraging tokens — An untoward circumstance—Mr. Camp¬ 
bell’s departure— The loaf stolen— The Author returns to the mission — 
Position of the missionary among the Bechuanas—Difference of mission¬ 
ary fields—Peculiar difficulties—Total absence of idolatry—Early pro¬ 
fessions no ci'iterion— A rainmaker’s reasoning—Bechuana government 
—Pitshos, or native parliament— National customs — Barriers to the 
Gospel—Labours of the women —Bechuana character—Lichtenstein and 
Thompson’s testimonies ...... 234 


Difficulties on entering on a mission—Atheism of the Kafirs—Remarks of 
Pringle and Kay—Testimony of a sorcerer —The praying mantis—The 
Moi'imo of the Bechuana—Absurd notions of Morimo and Barimo—• 
Notions of the origin of man, etc.—A woman sees Morimo—Rain¬ 
maker’s sagacity—Opinions of Divines—Deplorable ignorance—Incre¬ 
dulity of a chief—Testimony of a convert . . . .256 


Works of creation insufficient—Knowledge of God not innate—Invisible 
things of God—What the Scriptures teach—Opinions of ancient philo¬ 
sophers—President Edwards’s argument—Reason insufficient—Roby’s 
conclusion on the subject—Man’s responsibility—Native ceremonies— 
Customs originating with doctors and rainmakers—An unpleasant cere¬ 
mony—Native poets or eulogists—Naturaltheology—Systems of idolatry 
—Their various grades—How Africa was colonized—Physical variety in 
man 269 


Indifference to instruction—The women monopolize the water—Patience 
tried — Situation of a missionary’s wife—Character of our congregations 
—Cunning thieves—The bewitched pot—Consolations—Acquiring the 
language — Character of interpreters—Errors inevitable—Serious blun- 
clers—Divine support—Itinerating — Native views of the missionary 
character—A generous offer—The Moravians in Greenland—Paul's 
preaching at Athens— An example to missionaries—A Hottentot woman 
— Her affliction and penitence ..... 





Influence of rain-makers—The dead exposed—Ceremony of burial—Severe 
drought—Embassy for a rain-maker—His propitious reception—His 
popularity—His demeanour—His craftiness—Rain churned out of a 
milk sack—Tree struck by lightning—A baboon in requisition—The 
lion’s heart—A grand discovery—Exhumation of a body—The rain¬ 
maker begins to despair—He seeks counsel—A grave charge—The rain¬ 
maker condemned—He leaves the country .... 305 


Prospects become darker—A trying crisis—Purposes overruled—Seasons 
changed—Scarcity of rain accounted for—Indications of former luxuri¬ 
ance—Diminution of fountains—The north winds—Instinct of animals 
—Atmospheric phenomena—Description of thunder-storms—Thunder 
without clouds—Bechuana notions of thunder—The chapel clock . 326 


Reports of the Mantatees—The Author’s wish to visit the interior—Oppo¬ 
sition to the journey—The hunted khama—Wild dogs’ chase—Mantatees 
discovered—Return homeward—Proceed to Griqua Town—A Bechuana 
parliament held—Manner of the speakers—A councillor silenced— 
Taisho’s speech—The king’s concluding address . . . 340 


The Griquas arrive—The commando proceeds—Appalling sights—Narrow’ 
escape—Battle commences—Savage fighting—The enemy flee—The wo¬ 
men and children—Description of the Mantatees—Renew’ed attempts to 
rescue the women—A night’s anxiety—Fresh alarms—The women and 
dead horse—Goods stolen—Cruelty of the Beclmanas—Review of the 
subject—Concluding reflections—Missionary among the Mantatees . 354 


Removal of the station proposed—Objections to the plan—The Author visits 
Cape Town—Surprise of the Bechuana chiefs—Missionaries arrive—Re¬ 
turn to the station—Journey to the Bauangketsi—Wander in the desert 
—The country and game—Natural wells—A Sabbath in the wilderness 
—Ignorance of the natives—Manner of catching game—Incidents at a 
pool—Great sufferings from thirst—A scene at the water—Arrive at the 
Barolongs—Children offered for sale—Proceed to the Bauangketsi— 

Cattle seized—The party met by a son of Makaba—The rain-maker’s end 
—Reception at Kuakue . . . . . .373 


The natives and the compass, etc.—Makaba’s visit to the wagons—Descrip¬ 
tion of the town—Character of Makaba—Bold hyenas—Conversation 





with Makaba—An attempt at instruction—Makaba’s astonishment at the 
doctrine of a I’esurrection—Great excitement—Tsusane’s rebellion—His 
visit to the Kuruman—A stratagem—Tsusane’s affecting end—Un¬ 
founded alarms—Preparations for defence—Precipitate departure—The 
Author’s last interview—Return to the Barolongs—Threatened attack 
on Pitsana—A man escapes—His tale—A frightful savage—Dangerous 
position—Wagons attacked—A battle—A heathenish scene—Christian 
conduct—An explosion—Divine interposition—Affairs at the station— 

A midnight alarm—Concluding remarks . . . .396 


State of the public mind—A civil war—Infatuation—Conference with 
Mothibi—Attack of the marauders—Leave the station—Universal com¬ 
motion—Death of Peclu, the young prince—The Kuatse disease—Cruel 
superstition—Revenge sought—Renewed attacks—Mr. Hughes’s illness 
—Discouraging prospects—Ungenerous conduct—A chief eaten by a lion 
—Fresh alarms—Locusts—Desci’iption of them—How prepared for use 
—Young locusts most destructive—Calf-stealers—Remarkable case . 427 


Visit to the Barolongs—An interview with lions—Narrow escape—Fresh 
visitors—A lion’s meal—Arrive at Choaing—Company and assistance — 
Manner of life—Rhinoceroses—A night hunt—Kinds of game—Swift 
runners—Depravity of the natives—A cruel practice—The smith’s shop 
—Wire-drawing—A royal visitor—Return to the station . . 453 


Change of prospects—Startling intelligence—Distracting circumstances— 
Sojouni at Griqua Town—Return to the station—Rev. Richard Miles’s 
visit—Population scattered—Pleasing indications—Another commando 
—Audacity of the enemy—Their purposes defeated—Treatment of the 
prisoners—Another horde of banditti—An anxious Sabbath—A flag of 
truce—A parley with the enemy—Mr. and Mrs. Archbell arrive—The 
power of conscience—Pacific results—A massacre—Divine retribution . 472 


Delightful change—Aaron Josephs baptized—Cheering fi-uits—Baptism 
of six converts — Expectations realized—Rejoicing with trembling—The 
Gospel civilizes—Native costume — Sewing school commenced—Dawn 
of civilization—Novel fashions—Candle-making adopted—Feelings and 
experience of the natives—The dying convert . . . .495 





]Moselekatse’s ambassadors—Their astonishment — Danger attending their 
return—The Author accompanies them—Their reception by Mahura — A 
lion attacks the oxen — Arrive at the Bahurutsi — Country and game — 

The inhabited tree—Singular expedient—The lions and the oven—An 
urgent appeal—Indications of former prosperity —Traces of great indus¬ 
try—The ravages of w^ar—An interesting recital—Heavy rains—Meet a 
hunting party—Savage pomp—Moselekatse afraid—Warriors described 
—A grand ball . . . . . . . .510 


The Author’s stay prolonged — An expression of gratitude— A Saturday eve 
— A criminal tried:— Savage heroism— Suicide—Parasites—Moselekatse’s 
history — His character —A bereaved father—His efforts to redeem his 
son — Paternal affection —A mother’s love—Moselekatse’s inquiries— 
Passion for war—A monstrous action—Rough cooks —The horrors of 
war—The Author returns home ..... 53G 


The progress of civilization —The foundation of the chapel laid — Descrip¬ 
tion of the station — Learning to print — Introduction of the printing press 
• —Seasonable supply — Berend’s commando—The catastrophe—Mission 
to the Bahurutsi— A daughter’s compassion—The Scripture Lessons—The 
dying grandmother—Another instance—Polygamy—The Word blessed 
■ — Difficulties—Dr. A. Smith’s kindness—The Author accompanies the 
expedition— Arrive at Moselekatse’s — Curious ceremony—Superstition 
— The lost horse— Escape from a lion—Return to the Kuruman . 558 


A journey for timber—The mission to Mosega resumed—Moselekatse and 
the farmers—Prospects among the Bakone tribes—Native agency—An 
itinerating tour — A visit to Mosheu—His first visit to the station— A 
second visit—Desire for instruction—Arrive at the village—Eagerness to 
hear the Gos})el— A curious preacher—Anxiety to learn to read—Teaching 
the alphabet by moonlight—“ Auld lang syne”—Departure—Pleasing 
fruits The power of pacific principles—A merchant settles on the station , 
— The chapel opened —Mothibi’s conversion—Concluding remarks. 585 


Tlie Basuto mission— The speech of Mosheshe—Extended operations— 
Omnipotence of the Gospel—Hope for Africa—The Niger expedition— 

The duty of the Church of Christ—Antici})ated results—Potency of the 
Scriptures —Agreeable surprise—Christian hospitality . . . GOO 


Frontispiece, Mission Premises. 

Vignette Title-page. 

Map ........... Page 18 

Stratagem in hunting Ostriches ........ 64 

Bushmen ........... 64 

The building of the Author’s Hut . . . . , . .104 

The Abandoned Mother . . . . . . . . 135 

Horrible Position . . . . . . . . . .135 

Portrait of Christian Africaner . . . . . . . 172 

Bechuana Parliament . . . . . . . . .348 

A Midnight Scene ......... 425 

Motito, French Missionary Station ....... 425 

The Kuruman Fountain ........ 440 

Bechuana Milk-Sack . . . . . . . . .471 

The Head of a Spear ......... 494 

Bechuana Men in their Native Costume ...... 503 

Bechuana Women ......... 503 

Bechuana Wooden Spoons . . . . . . . . .509 

The Inhabited Tree ......... 521 

A Matabele and a Bechuana Warrior ....... 533 

Bechuana War-Axe, Knife, and Needle ...... 535 

Bird’s-eye View of the Kuruman Station . . . . . .560 

The African Suppliant.. 618 

^ 7 - 

h - -■ 




General view of the state of Africa—Attempts to explore—Sup¬ 
posed origin of the Hottentots—How population extended— 
Origin of the Bushmen Tribes—Their extent—Bechuana Bushmen 
—Their suffering and degradation—Variety of dialect accounted 
for—The Tamahas—Melancholy view of Bushman country— 
The Kafir origin and character—Countries of the Basutos and 
Bechuanas—Namaquas and Damaras—Description of the Karroo 
—A dry and barren country. 

The continent of Africa, though probably the most 
ancient field of geographical enterprise, still is, and 
there is reason to believe that it will long continue to 
he, the least explored portion of our earth. Though 
once the nursery of science and literature, the empo¬ 
rium of commerce, and the seat of an empire which 
contended with Rome for the sovereignty of the world, 
—the cradle of the ancient church, and the asylum 
of the infant Saviour, yet Africa still presents a com¬ 
parative blank on the map, as well as in the history of 
the world. Though, according to Herodotus, it was 
circumnavigated by the Phoenicians long before the 
Christian era, and its coast was the first object of 




maritime discovery, after the compass had inspired 
seamen with confidence to leave shores and landmarks, 
and stand forth on the houndless deep ; yet to this 
day its interior regions continue a mystery to the 
white man, a land of darkness and of terror to the 
most fearless and enterprising traveller. Although 
in no country has there been such a sacrifice of men 
to the enterprise of discovery—of men the most intel¬ 
ligent and undaunted, of men impelled not by gross 
cupidity, but by refined philanthropy ;—yet, notwith¬ 
standing such suffering and waste of human life, we 
are only acquainted with the fringes of that immense 
continent, and a few lineaments at no great distance 
from its shores. 

Africa had once her churches, her colleges, her re¬ 
positories of science and learning, her Cyprians and 
bishops of apostolic renown, and her noble army of 
martyrs; but now the funeral pall hangs over her 
wide-spread domains, while her millions, exposed to 
tenfold horrors, descend like a vast funereal mass to 
the regions of woe. Christendom has been enriched 
by her gold, her drugs, her ivory, and bodies and 
souls of men—and what has been her recompense ? 
A few crucifixes planted around her shores, guarded 
by the military fort and the roar of cannon. Had 
it not been for British power and British sympathy, 
under the favour of Heaven, Africa, to this day, with 
scarcely one exception, might have had the tri¬ 
coloured flag waving on her bosom, bearing the 
ensigns of the mystery of Babylon, the crescent of 
the false prophet, and the emblems of pagan darkness, 
from the shores of the Mediterranean, to the colony 
of the Cape of Good Hope. 



The countries extending throughout by far the 
greater portion of the vast surface just mentioned, 
are, as regards soil and capabilities, among the finest 
in the world ; but the population of the whole, with 
the exception of Egypt in ancient times, and the 
population of the shores of the Mediterranean when 
under the Carthaginian, the Roman, and the brighter 
days of Arab sway, have been, through every age, and 
are still, sunk into the lowest depths of ignorance, 
superstition, disorganization, and debasement; the 
glimmer of civilization, which for a time appeared in 
Nubia and Abyssinia, compared with the whole, 
scarcely forming an exception.”* 

Before entering into a detail of Missionary opera¬ 
tions, it may be proper to glance briefly at the 
position, extent, and character of some of the fields 
which have been occupied. 

The bold and mountainous promontory of the 
Cape was first discovered by Bartholomew Diaz, the 
Portuguese navigator, and was taken possession of 
by the Dutch, in 1652. At that period the whole of 
what is now designated the Colony, was inhabited 
by Hottentots proper, whose history and origin, from 
their physical appearance, language, and customs, 
continue involved in profound mystery. They re¬ 
semble none of the Kafir, Bechuana and Damara 
nations, which bound the different tribes of that re¬ 
markable people, extending from Angra, Pequena 
IHy, on the west, to the Great Fish River on the 
east. The whole race is distinct from all others with 
which we are acquainted. Taking the Hottentots, 

* APQucen’s Geographical Survey of Africa. 



Corannas, Namaquas, and Bushmen, as a whole, 
they are not swarthy or black, but rather of a sallow 
colour, and in some cases so light, that a tinge of red 
in the cheek is perceptible, especially among the 
Bushmen. They are generally smaller in stature than 
their neighbours of the interior; their visage and 
form very distinct, and in general the top of the head 
broad and flat; their faces tapering to the chin, with 
high cheek bones, flat noses, and large lips. Since 
the writer has had opportunities of seeing men, 
women, and children from China, he feels strongly 
inclined to think, with Barrow, that they approach 
nearest, in their colour and in the construction of their 
features, to that people than to any other nation. 
Since his arrival in England, this supposition has 
been strengthened by seeing two blind Chinese child¬ 
ren, whom, had he not been previously informed, he 
would have taken for Hottentots ; and if they had 
had their eyesight, the resemblance would have been 
much more striking. It is well known that the 
Hottentots inhabit the southern point of Africa, and 
spread northward; while the Bushmen, the most 
northerly, exist among the inhabited regions, where 
they continue perfectly distinct, and, which is very 
remarkable, do not become darker in their com¬ 
plexion, as is the case with all the other tribes that 
inhabit, or have inhabited the Torrid Zone. If they 
had been gipsies from Egypt, as some have thought, 
it is another singular circumstance, that they should 
not, during the successive ages which they must have 
required slowly to advance through nearly 5000 
miles of territory, have adopted one word of the lan¬ 
guage of the myriads with whom they came in con- 


tact, or one of their customs of any description, not 
even that of sowing seed in the earth. It may not he 
considered chimerical to suppose that when the sons 
of Ham entered Africa, by Egypt, and the Arabians, 
by the Red Sea, that the Hottentot progenitors took 
the lead, and gradually advanced in proportion as 
they were urged forward by an increasing population 
in their rear, until they reached the ends of the earth. 
It may also he easily conceived, by those acquainted 
with the emigration of tribes, that during their pro¬ 
gress to the south, parties remained behind, in the 
more sequestered and isolated spots, where they had 
located while the nation moved onward, and research 
may yet prove that that remarkable people originally 
came from Egypt.* At all events, it is evident that 
they have arisen from a race distinct from that of 
their neighbours, and extended inland, inhabiting the 
most fertile spots, till their course was arrested on 
the east by the hold and warlike Kafirs, and on the 
north by the Bechiiana and Damara. It is probable 
that they stretched out into Great Namaqualand, 
along the western division of the Colony, till prevented 
by a desert country, beyond which lay the Damaras ; 
and then again they proceeded from Little Namaqua¬ 
land, eastward, along the cooling banks of the Gariep 

* A few evenings ago I was in the company of a Syrian who 
lately came from Egypt. On giving him a specimen and a descrip¬ 
tion of the Hottentot language, he remarked that he had seen 
slaves in the market at Cairo, brought a great distance from the 
interior, who spoke a similar language, and were not near so dark 
coloured as slaves in general. This corroborates the statements of 
ancient authors, whose description of a people inhabiting the inte¬ 
rior remons of northern Africa, answers to that of the Hottentots and 



or Orange !River, richly fringed with overhanging 
willows, towering acacias, and kharree trees and 
shrubs, umbrageous at all seasons of the year. Thus, 
by the localities of the country they became separated 
into three great divisions, Hottentots, Corannas, and 
lesser and greater Namaquas. From time immemo¬ 
rial these have been the boundaries of their habita¬ 
tions, while the desert wastes and barren mountain- 
ravines, which intervened, became the refuge and 
domains of the Bushmen, who are emphatically the 
children of the desert. 

All these possess nearly the same physical charac¬ 
teristics, the same manners and customs. I have 
had in my presence genuine Hottentots, Corannas, 
and Namaquas, who had met from their respective 
and distant tribes, for the first time, and they con¬ 
versed with scarcely any difficulty. All use the same 
weapons, the quiver, bow, and poisoned arrows, of 
which the tribes beyond are ignorant, except such 
as border on them, like the Batlapis, who say they 
adopted that new mode of warfare in order to compete 
with them and the Bushmen, from both of whom 
they obtained these weapons, which they have not yet 
learned to manufacture. 

The Bushmen are the most remarkable portion of 
the Hottentot nation. Various opinions have been 
offered on the origin and state of the Hottentots, 
among which is that of Gibbon, that they were the 
connecting link between the rational and irrational 
creation.’’ If he had been acquainted with the Bush¬ 
men, who are unquestionably inferior to the Hotten¬ 
tots, he would have felt more confidence in this 
strange and long exploded theory. Some say they 



are the progenitors of the nation; others, that they 
are an entirely distinct race ; and others, again, that 
they are Hottentots, who have been directly or indi¬ 
rectly plundered of their cattle by the Dutch farmers. 
That the Bushmen are the people from whom the 
Hottentot tribes have descended, is irreconcilable 
with existing facts ; that they are a distinct race, is 
still farther from probability ; and that they are plun¬ 
dered Hottentots, is, in my humble opinion, a pre¬ 
posterous notion, resulting from limited information 
on the subject. If this were to be admitted, then we 
must also admit that the Hottentots, in being deprived 
of their cattle, and becoming Bushmen, were deprived 
of their language also ; for it is well known, from the 
earliest records that can be obtained on the subject 
of their language,—which has, in addition to the klick 
of the Hottentot, a croaking in the throat,—that they 
never understood each other without interpreters. 

Another fact is, that the Bushmen are to be found 
scattered, though thinly, among all the Bechuana 
tribes of the interior with which we are acquainted, 
even as far as the Mampoor lake, about eight hundred 
miles north of Lattakoo. The Marosa, or Baroa 
Bushmen, are found of the same description as those 
just beyond the boundaries of the Colony ; and from 
the oldest traditions we can find among the Corannas 
and Namaquas, who are the unmixed Hottentots, as 
also from the Bechuanas, it may be demonstrated, 
that they existed a wandering people without homes, 
or cattle, or even nationality of character. That they 
descended from Hottentots, requires little argument 
to prove. Probably there are connected with all the 
tribes of Africa numbers of a nomadic character. 



whose origin will throw light on the history of the 
Bushmen. A parallel is furnished by the following 
facts of the case, which have hundreds of times come 
under my own observation, during a residence of 
more than twenty years among the Bechuana tribes. 
Connected with each of the towns among that people, 
there are great numbers of what are called ‘‘ Balala,” 
poor ones, who stand in the same relation to the Bechu- 
anas as the Bushmen formerly stood in to the Hot¬ 
tentots, and whose origin doubtless was of the same 
nature. These Balala were once inhabitants of the 
towns, and have been permitted or appointed to live 
in country places for the purpose of procuring skins 
of wild animals, wild honey, and roots, for their 
respective chiefs. The number of these country 
residents was increased, by the innate love of liberty, 
and the scarcity of food in towns, or within the boun¬ 
daries to which they were confined by water and 
pasture. These again formed themselves into small 
communities, though of the most temporary character, 
their calling requiring migration, having no cattle of 
any description. Accustomed from infancy to the 
sweets of comparative liberty, which they vastly pre¬ 
ferred to a kind of vassalage in the towns, or kraals, 
they would make any sacrifice to please their often 
distant superiors, rather than be confined to the 
irksomeness of a town life. Such is their aversion, 
that I have known chiefs take armed men, and travel 
a hundred miles into desert places, in order to bring 
back Balala, whom they wished to assist them in 
watching and harvesting the gardens of their wives ; 
and in such seasons they will frequently wander 
about, and fix their domiciles in the most desert and 



unfrequented spots, to escape this easy, but to them 
galling duty, which is only required in a year of 

Though in general they are able to state to what 
chief or tribe they belong, yet, from want of inter¬ 
course, and from desolating wars, which are only 
waged where there is a prospect of plunder, great 
numbers of them become, in their isolated position, 
independent. They are never permitted to keep 
cattle, and are exposed to the caprice, cupidity, and 
tyranny of the town lords, whenever they happen to 
come in their way. They live a hungry life, being de¬ 
pendent on the chase, wild roots, berries, locusts, and 
indeed any thing eatable that comes within their reach ; 
and when they have a more than usual supply, they 
will bury it in the earth, from their superiors, who are 
in the habit of taking what they please. Resistance on 
their part would he instantly avenged with the deadly 
javelin. When hunting parties go out to kill game, 
the Balala, men and women, are employed to carry 
grievous burdens of flesh to the rendezvous of the 
hunters ; in return for which they receive the offals 
of the meat, and are made drudges so long as the 
party remains. They are never permitted to wear 
the furs of foxes and other animals they obtain. The 
flesh they may eat ; but the skins are conveyed to 
the towns, for which they obtain a small piece of 
tobacco, or an old spear or knife. Indeed, all the 
valuable skins of the larger animals, which they 
sometimes procure by hunting and pitfalls, as well 
as the better portions of the meat, they have to yield 
to their nominal masters, except when they succeed 
in secretin": the whole for their own use. From the 



famishing life to which they are exposed, their ex¬ 
ternal appearance and stature are precisely to the 
Bechuanas, what the Bushmen are to the Hotten¬ 
tots. Those, however, who live in places which 
afford a better supply of food, are generally of 
equal stature with those who live in towns. The 
natives I have observed throuHiout southern Africa 


are, like plants on a sterile soil and bleak aspect, 
stunted in growth, while in a more genial situation 
the same species are trees instead of shrubs. 

The next problem is the variety of languages spoken 
by the Bushmen, even when nothing but a range of 
hills, or a river intervenes between the tribes, and 
none of these dialects is understood by the Hotten¬ 
tots. This may be solved with still greater ease, by 
again referring to the Balala. The dialects of the 
Sechuana, as spoken by these people, especially in 
districts remote from the towns, are so different from 
that spoken by the nation generally, that interpreters 
are frequently required. In order to account for this, 
it is necessary to become acquainted with their habits. 
In the towns, the purity and harmony of the language 
are kept up by their pitches or public meetings, at which 
the finest language is spoken, by their festivals and 
ceremonies, as well as by their songs and their con¬ 
stant intercourse ; for, like the Athenians of old, they 
are ever telling or hearing some ‘‘ new thing,” and 
the first question a person who has come from a neigh¬ 
bouring village is asked will be, “ Lo yelang gona ? ” 
What do you eat there? or “’Mpulela mahuke.” 
Tell me the news. There is no end to conversation, 
excepting when sleep overcomes or pinching hunger 
prevails. With the isolated villages of the desert, 



it is far otherwise. They have no such meetings, 
no festivals, no cattle, nor any kind of manufactures, 
to keep their energies alive ; riches they have none, 
their sole care being to keep body and soul together; 
to accomplish this, is with them their “ chief end 
they are compelled to traverse the wilds often to a 
great distance from their native village. On such 
occasions, fathers and mothers, and all who can hear 
a burden, often set out for weeks at a time, and leave 
their children to the care of two or more intirm old 
people. The infant progeny, some of whom are 
beginning to lisp, while others can just master a 
whole sentence, and those still farther advanced 
romping and playing together, the children of nature, 
through the livelong day, become habituated to a 
language of their own. The more voluble condescend 
to the less precocious, and thus from this infant 
Babel proceeds a dialect composed of a host of mon¬ 
grel words and phrases joined together without rule, 
and in the course of a generation the entire character 
of the language is changed. Their servile state, their 
scanty clothing, their exposure to the inclemency of 
the weather, and their extreme poverty, have, as 
may he easily conceived, a deteriorating influence on 
their character and condition. They are generally 
less in stature, and though not deficient in intellect, 
the life they lead gives a melancholy cast to their 
features, and from constant intercourse with beasts of 
prey and serpents in their path, as well as exposure 
to harsh treatment, they appear shy, and have a wild 
and frequently quick suspicious look. Nor can this 
he wondered at, when it is remembered that they 
associate with savage beasts, from the lion that roams 



abroad by night and day, to the deadly serpent which 
infests their path, keeping them always on the alert 
during their perambulations. All this and much 
more which might be said of the Balala, may also 
with the strictest propriety he affirmed of the Bush¬ 
men. Any one familiarly acquainted with the interior, 
can have no douht as to the origin and the correct¬ 
ness of the description given of the “ Bechuana 
Bushmen/’ as Mr. Campbell calls them, and of 
whom he says, they are a people greatly despised 
by all the surrounding tribes.” Their numbers have 
also been increased by fugitives from other towns 
and villages, which have been reduced by devastating 
wars from peace and plenty, to the most abject 
poverty, and the inhabitants forced to flee to the 
desert for sustenance, hardly disputed with the beasts 
of prey. From this class of people, the Tamahas, 
or Red people, as the etymology of the word imports, 
who are by the Griquas called Red Kafirs, arose. 
They formed a considerable body in the days of 
Molehabangue, the father of Mothibi, the present 
chief of the Batlapis, who, in his commandoes for 
the capture of cattle, was wont to take them with 
him. Taught this mode of warfare, and being of an 
intrepid character, they sallied forth and took cattle 
for themselves, which Molehabangue’s generous dis¬ 
position allowed them to keep, and they became an 
independent tribe, continuing the faithful allies of 
the Batlapis. 

That such were the Bushmen formerly, there can 
be no doubt; and it is equally certain their numbers 
were increased by parties of Hottentots, robbed, and 
compelled to abandon for ever the land of their an- 



cestors ; and who naturally sought to satisfy their 
wants hy a predatory warfare, and thus taught the 
Bushmen to become the pirates of the desert. Hence 
arose that kind of policy, once sanctioned hy the 
Cape colonial government, of extermination, on 
which it is impossible to reflect without horror. It 
appears from the earliest records on the subject, and 
especially from the journals of those engaged in the 
work, that the Bushmen were once very numerous. I 
have traversed those regions in which, according to 
the testimony of the farmers, thousands once dwelt, 
drinking at their own fountains, and killing their own 
game; but now, alas, scarcely a family is to be seen ! 
It is impossible to look over these now uninhabited 
plains and mountain-glens without feeling the deepest 
melancholv, while the winds moanins: in the vale seem 
to echo hack the sound, Where are they?” In this 
more enlightened age, the farmers cannot refer to the 
melancholy history of that unfortunate race without 
feelings of regret, while it is hut justice to add, that 
many of the farmers made strenuous efforts, and col¬ 
lected thousands of cattle and sheep, which they 
presented to the neighbouring Bushmen, hoping to 
induce them to settle, and live by breeding cattle ; 
but these efforts always failed. It was too late ; past 
sufferings, and past offences on both sides, had pro¬ 
duced a spirit of hatred so universal, that it was of no 
avail to pacify one party, while thousands were thirst¬ 
ing for revenge and plunder. Their numbers are now 
comparatively few, even among the tribes far beyond 
the ])resent limits of the Colony, from the same 
mutual strife. 

It will he evident from the preceding statements, 
that the Bushmen were originally ])oor IlottentotS; 



and will in all probability, like their progenitors, in 
course of time, cease to be a distinct people, by 
becoming gradually mixed with the tribes among 
whom they are scattered. Some additional remarks 
on this people will be found under the head, Missions 
to the Bushmen. 

The Kafirs, the next African tribe to which I shall 
briefly refer, live beyond the Fish Kiver, on the 
eastern boundary of the Colony. At an earlier period 
they possessed much of that part of Albany now in¬ 
habited by English farmers and Hottentots, though 
it is presumed, on very good grounds, that the Hot¬ 
tentot country formerly extended a considerable dis¬ 
tance into that of the Kafirs. The Kafirs form one 
tribe of the Great Bechuana family, and probably 
emigrated from the direction of Delagoa Bay, till 
they came in contact with the Hottentots along the 
coast. Their origin must be traced to the same source 
as that of the numerous tribes of the Bechuanas, 
from the affinity of languages spoken throughout the 
eastern part of the continent of Africa. Their national 
character is bold and warlike, and their maintaining 
their independence to the present day, after all their 
conflicts with the Colony, and especially in the late 
war, when no less a sum than 241,884L was expended 
in the destructive, but fruitless conflict, in order to 
drive them from the mountain-passes, and the impe¬ 
netrable jungles, a country over which their ancestors 
had swayed the sceptre for ages, is a decisive evi¬ 
dence of their martial spirit. Their country is bounded 
by the ocean on the south, and a range of mountains 
on the north, and beyond them lie the Amapondo 
and Zoolu tribes. 

North of Kafir-land, between the Winterberg moan- 



tains and the higher branches of the Yellow River, 
lies the country inhabited by the Basutos, a tribe of 
Bechuanas. Since the days of Chaka, the tyrant of 
the Zoolus, who oppressed them from the east, while 
the Bergenaars on the west were exercising dread¬ 
ful barbarities, and reduced most of the tribes to 
extreme poverty; they have risen again in a fertile 
country, to comparative affluence. The commence¬ 
ment of missions among them by the brethren of the 
Evangelical Missionary Society at Paris, and subse¬ 
quently by the Wesleyans, is the cause of this im¬ 
provement in their circumstances. 

Beyond the Basutos, to the north of the Orange 
River, lie the other Bechuana tribes, whose numbers 
and extent we have not yet been able to learn. There 
is some reason for supposing that they formerly ex¬ 
tended much farther to the southward than their pre¬ 
sent limits, the 28° south latitude, for the places as 
far as the Orange River have Bechuana names ; and 
even the Lokualo"^ of the Bechuana is to he found on 
stones near the present boundaries of the Colony ; hut 
this may have been done by herdsmen taken or es¬ 
caped from those tribes. Fev/, except Balala, lie 
farther west than the 23° east longitude. Between 
23° and 19°, lies what Mr. Campbell calls the south¬ 
ern Zahara, which, from what I have seen on the 
east, south, and western boundaries of it, is a fearful 

* Lokualo, from which w'e derive the word writing or printing, 
is formed generally by herd-boys, who with a stone make various 
figures on stones with a flat surface, without any reference to 
shape. Marks are made by striking the stone on another till 
curved lines, circles, ovals, and zigzag figures are impressed on its 
surface, exhibiting the appearance of a white strip of about an inch 
broad, like a confused coil of a rope. 



expanse of sand, though undulating, and in many 
places covered with acacias and other trees of gi¬ 
gantic size. The eastern parts are inhabited by 
the Balala of the Bechuana; the southern, near 
the Orange River, by Bushmen ; and the western, 
by Namaqua Bushmen, but none of them are able 
to keep cattle. They subsist on game, water-melons, 
and roots. 

The country from the limits of the desert to the 
west coast is called Great Namaqualand, containing 
a thin population of the Hottentot race. To the 
north of the Namaquas lie the Damara tribes, of 
whom comparatively little is known, except that from 
their physical appearance and black colour, they 
approximate to the negroes and natives of Congo 
on the west coast. These tribes inhabit a country 
extending from the tropic of Capricorn to the Cape 
of Good Hope, and from the Atlantic to the shore 
of the Indian Ocean. The climate varies from that 
in which thunder storms and tornadoes shake the 
mountains, and the scorching rays of an almost 
vertical sun produce the mirage, to that which is 
salubrious and mild within the boundaries of the 
Colony along Kafir-land to the fruitful and well 
watered plains of the Zoolu country in the vicinity 
of Port Natal, while the more mountainous and 
elevated regions are visited by keen frosts and heavy 
falls of snow. The Colony extends, from west to 
east, about 600 miles, its average breadth being about 
200, containing a variety of climate, the healthiest 
perhaps to be found in any part of the world. Be¬ 
tween the coast and the vast chain of mountains 
beyond which lie the Karroo, the country is well 
watered, fertile, and temperate. The other portions 



of the Colony, with few exceptions and without a 
change in the seasons^ appear to be doomed to per¬ 
petual sterility and drought. The Karroo country, 
which is the back ground of the Colony, is, as Lich¬ 
tenstein correctly describes it, a parched and arid 
plain, stretching out to such an extent, that the vast 
hills by which it is terminated, or rather which di¬ 
vide it from other plains, are lost in the distance. 
The beds of numberless little rivers (in which water 
is rarely to be found) cross like veins in a thousand 
directions this enormous space. The course of them 
might in some places be clearly distinguished by the 
dark green of the mimosas spreading along their 
banks. Excepting these, as far as the eye can reach, 
no tree or shrub is visible. Nowhere appear any signs 
of life, nor a point on which the eye can dwell with 
pleasure. The compass of human sight is too small 
to take in the circumference of the whole—the soul 
must rest on the horrors of the wide spread desert. 

This is only a part of the Karroo, viewed from the 
top of a hill by that intelligent traveller; but even 
on these hills and sun-burnt plains, thousands of 
sheep pasture on a thin sprinkling of verdure and 
esculents. One morning, after travelling several days 
in those Karroo plains, Mr. Campbell stood still, and 
remarked with great emphasis to Mrs. Moffat and 
myself, “ Sirs, it would require a good pair of spec¬ 
tacles to see a blade of grass in this world.” 

The entire country, extending in some places hun¬ 
dreds of miles on each side of the Orange River, and 
from where it empties itself into the Atlantic to 
beyond the 24th degree east longitude, a})pears to 
have the curse of Gilboa resting on it. It is rare 




that rains to any extent or quantity fall in those 
regions. Extreme droughts continue for years toge¬ 
ther. The fountains are exceedingly few, precarious, 
and latterly many of these have been dried up alto¬ 
gether. The causes and consequences of the dimi¬ 
nution of the rains will be noticed as the writer 
traverses the different fields which have come under 
his own immediate observation ; and if his long ex¬ 
perience and inquiry on that and a variety of other 
subjects of interest and scientific research, should in 
any degree throw additional light on doubtful points, 
he will consider his labour amply rewarded, but his 
theme is man. 

This is a brief sketch of the different tribes which 
have been the objects of missionary labour, and the 
limits of which are defined in the accompanying map, 
intended more as a directory to the position of mis¬ 
sionary stations and divisions of tribes, than a minute 
view of general topography. 

I have deemed it proper to be more particular on 
the Hottentot and Bushman character, as the follow¬ 
ing chapters present little more than an outline of 
the labours of missionaries among that people. This 
section of our operations is so well known from the 
copious journals and letters so long before the public, 
as well as from Mr. Campbelks first and second 
“Travels,” and the “Researches” of the Rev. Dr. 
Philip, besides the works of other writers on the 
same subject, that it is the less necessary for me to 
make large additions to the valuable information thus 


Pitblishcd by Snow Tatxmostrr Mon' ZonMap-.JS'f^^. 




'y ' 

\ .1 ‘ 


! V 


' ‘1 • 






. vv 






First Mission to South Africa—Mr. Schmidt’s success—Mission 
resumed—Mission to the Kafirs—Dr. Vanderkemp leaves Cape 
Town—Enters Kafir-land—Suspicions of the Kafirs—Ignorance 
of the natives—The Doctor’s colleague leaves him—The Doc¬ 
tor’s devotedness and humility—Gaika solicits him to make 
rain—His self-denial and perils—A Hottentot woman—En¬ 
mity of some colonists — Awful retribution — Kafir Mission 

The London Missionary Society, on its establishment 
in 1795, directed its first efforts to the islands of the 
Pacific; in which the missionaries, after a long period 
of toil, under accumulated hardships, have witnessed 
triumphs of the Gospel the most signal, among a 
race of barbarians and cannibals, which it has ever 
fallen to the province of history to record. The. 
attention of the Society was next directed to the vast 
and important field of Southern Africa, then wholly 
unoccupied, except by the United Brethren of Ger¬ 
many. The small Moravian church of Herrnhut sent 
forth her missionaries more than a century ago, first 
to the negroes of the West, and then to the fur-clad 
inhabitants of Greenland. 

“ Fired with a zeal peculiar, they defy 
The rage and rigour of a polar sky, 

And plant successfully sweet Sharon’s rose 
On icy plains, and in eternal snows.” 

c 2 



In July^ 1736, George Schmidt, with something of 
that zeal which fired the bosom of Egede, the pioneer 
of the mission to Greenland, left his native country 
for that of the Hottentots. He was the first who, 
commissioned by the King of kings, stood in the 
vale of Grace, (Genadendal,) at that time known by 
the name of Bavian’s Kloof, (the Glen of Baboons,) 
and directed the degraded, oppressed, ignorant, de¬ 
spised, and, so far as life eternal is concerned, the 
outcast Hottentots, to the Lamb of God, who tasted 
death for them. It is impossible to traverse the glen, 
as the writer has done, or sit under the great pear- 
tree which that devoted missionary planted with his 
own hands, without feeling something like a holy envy 
of so distinguished a person in the missionary band. 
When we remember that actions receive their weight 
from the circumstances under which they have been 
called forth, how exalted a glory must such an one 
as George Schmidt possess in the heavenly world, 
where one star differeth from another star in glory, 
compared with a great majority of the present day, 
who have doors opened to them, and a host of ex¬ 
amples before them, with the zeal and prayers of 
the whole Christian church to animate and support 
them! Though he could only address the Hottentots 
through an interpreter, his early efforts were crowned 
with success, and the attendance at the first Hot¬ 
tentot school ever founded rapidly increased. The 
Hottentots, with all their reputed ignorance and 
apathy, justly regarded him with sentiments of un¬ 
feigned love and admiration ; and so evidently was 
the Gospel made the power of God, that in the course 
of a few years he was able to add a number of con¬ 
verts to the church of the first born. 



In 1743, the lonely missionary was compelled to 
visit Europe, when the Dutch East India Company, 
actuated by representations that to instruct the Hot¬ 
tentots would be injurious to the interests of the 
Colony, refused to sanction the return of this mes- 
senger of mercy to that unfortunate people. Every 
effort to resume the Mission was fruitless, till the 
year 1792, when Marsveldt, Schwinn, and Kiichnel 
sailed for the Cape of Good Hope. They received 
every attention, and went in search of the spot where, 
more than half a century before, Schmidt left his 
little band. Part of the walls of his house was indeed 
still standing, and in the garden were several fruit- 
trees planted by his hands ; whilst various ruins of 
walls, at a short distance, marked the site of the 
lowly cottages which were once inhabited by his affec¬ 
tionate hearers ; and, what must have been over¬ 
powering to these followers of so good a man, one 
of the females whom he had baptized, by the name 
of Magdalena, was also found out, and appeared to 
have a tolerable recollection of her former teacher, 
though she was now about seventy years of age. She 
also produced a New Testament, bearing the marks 
of constant use, which he had presented to her. This 
she had preserved as a precious relic, and, although 
now bent down with age and feebleness, she expressed 
great joy on being informed that Marsveldt and his 
companions were the brethren of her old and beloved 

The Hottentots who remembered Mr. Schmidt, or 
had heard of his labours of love, rallied around the 
standard again erected ; and though great and many 
were the trials and distresses of the missionaries, often 


threatened with destruction and murder, all recorded 
in the chronicles of heaven, their labours were blessed; 
and, through Divine help, the Moravian Missions have 
prospered, and spread their branches through different 
parts of the Colony, and to the Tambookies beyond 
it, where they have now a flourishing station. What 
a remarkable display have we here of the faithfulness 
and mercy of God, in preserving the seed sown by 
Schmidt in a most ungenial soil, and left to vegetate 
in an aspect the most forbidding, for such a length 
of time! Who can doubt the Divine assurance, 
“ My word shall not return unto me void 

On the 31st of March, in the year 1799, Dr. Van- 
derkemp, accompanied by Messrs. Kicherer and 
Edmonds, landed at Cape Town, then in the posses¬ 
sion of the Dutch. Dr. V. selected Kahr-land as 
the field of his operations, while Mr. Kicherer, ac¬ 
companied by Mr. Kramer, yielded to a call of 
Providence, and proceeded to the Bushmen on the 
Zak River. Vanderkemp, who was a native of 
Holland, seemed, from his experience, natural firm¬ 
ness of character, and distinguished talents, prepared 
for the Herculean task of at once forcing his way into 
the head-quarters of the enemy, and raising the standard 
of the cross amidst a dense population of barbarians, 
the most powerful, warlike, and independent of all 
the tribes within or without the boundaries of the 
Cape Colony, and who, notwithstanding the superior 
means for human destruction enjoyed by their white 
neighbours, still maintained their right to their native 
hijls and dales. He might at once, with comparatively 
little trouble or hardship, have fixed his abode among 
the Hottentots within the Colonv, to whom he even- 



tually devoted all the energies of his body and mind, 
in raising that depressed, degraded, helpless, and 
enslaved race, to freemen in Christ Jesus, and break¬ 
ing the fetters that a cruel policy had riveted on that 
hapless people, the aborigines and rightful owners of 
a territory now no longer theirs. 

The Doctor, having cast his eye over the condition 
of the Hottentots, concluded that there was scarcely 
any possibility of making progress among a people 
so proscribed by government, and at the mercy of 
their white neighbours, on whom they could not look 
without indignation, as any other human beings would 
have done in similar circumstances ; he therefore, 
very naturally, directed his steps to those who were 
yet free from these unjustifiable restrictions. 

Having received every encouragement from the 
English government, and recommendatory letters to 
the farmers, he left Cape Town. The country through 
which he had to pass was thinly, and in many places 
newly inhabited. The party arrived at Graaf Reinet 
on June 29, after having, with their attendants and 
cattle, experienced many narrow escapes from lions, 
panthers, and other wild beasts, as well as from Bush¬ 
men and Hottentots, of character still more ferocious. 
Notwithstanding, wherever they went, they were 
kindly treated by the farmers, although their fears 
and alarms must have been many, and nothing but 
Divine power could have cheered them onward in 
their desert path. 

In July, 1799, he proceeded from Graaf Reinet, 
the most distant colonial town, and the nearest to 
the Kafirs. 'Hiis was a daring undertaking, when it 
is remembered that for a long time previous a dire. 



and often deadly strife had been kept up between 
them and the farmers, whom they very naturally 
viewed as intruders, and towards whom they must 
have looked with a jealous eye, both they and their 
forefathers having witnessed the reduction of the Hot¬ 
tentots, once their equals in number and power, to 
a state of slavery, destitution, and sorrow, the mere 
fragment of a nation being left. 

It would be expecting too much from human na¬ 
ture, and even from the noble and manly character of 
the Kafirs, to suppose that they should refrain from 
laying hands on the cattle of the farmers, a system 
carried on amongst all the tribes of South Africa. 
There is, however, much reason to believe that they 
were excited to this practice to a much greater extent 
by the conduct of some unprincipled colonists, for we 
find on one of the earliest missions to Gaika, for the 
purpose of preventing depredations by the Kafirs, the 
chiefs stated that these were prompted solely by the 
example set first, and on a larger scale, by the colon¬ 
ists. This, it seems, was an undeniable fact, so that 
the British could only stipulate for the good conduct 
of their subjects in future, provided the Kafirs ob¬ 
served a similar procedure. It was among a people 
inured to war, fierce and superstitious, and often 
exasperated by the exercise of the superior power of 
their neighbours, that Dr. Vanderkemp pitched his 
tent. I have gazed with sacred awe on the spot 
where he raised the Gospel standard; here he la¬ 
boured for a season, in company with Mr. Edmonds, 
who, to his deep regret, afterwards proceeded to the 
East Indies. He was thus left alone with only a few 
attendants, among a people destitute of confidence in 



each other, and fired with jealousy towards every white 
intruder, with these feelings frequently increased by 
the influence of runaway slaves and deserters, who 
naturally felt that their interest and safety would be 
secured by fanning the flame of discord. 

Under all these untoward circumstances it was 
impossible that the Kafirs could view Dr. V.’s 
sojourn among them in any other light than as a 
spy, or precursor of deeply laid stratagems to get 
possession of their country and cattle, by the people 
from whom he had come, and to whom he belonged. 
He carried no credentials to recommend him, but the 
Divine commission : his very appearance must have 
had little to fascinate a savage mind, capable of appre¬ 
ciating only outward pomp, or displays of human 
power. The Doctor’s habits were such as to convey 
a very different impression, for he generally appeared 
in the plainest garb, and, according to his own ac¬ 
count, without hat, or shoes or stockings. He had 
escaped in rough and trackless ravines and plains 
through which he passed, not only from beasts of 
})rey, but from deserters, who laid in wait to murder 
him; and when he appeared before the sovereign of 
the country, he was at the mercy of a tyrant whose 
mind was poisoned by individuals from the Colony, 
of some influence, insinuating that he was a spy. 

Many questions were put to him respecting his 
object, and political connexions, and they were espe- 
ciallv anxious to know if he were sent by the English. 
To which the Doctor replied with great humility, and 
referred to tlie governor’s permission and recommen¬ 
dations to the favour of the authorities, in permitting 
him to proceed. “ Did, then,” continued Gaika, “ this 



plan spring forth only out of your own heart ‘‘ This 
very question,” says the Doctor, “^upbraided me of my 
unfaithfulness, and put this answer into my mouth: 
that this my plan was indeed formed only in my own 
heart, though it was never formed by it; but that the 
God of heaven and earth, in whose hand were their 
hearts and my heart, had put it into it to go to this peo¬ 
ple, and to communicate in his name, things with which 
their temporal and eternal happiness were connected.” 

This simple and honest reply in some measure paci¬ 
fied the jealous spirit of one whose mind was more 
likely to be moved by the representations made to 
him that the missionaries were spies and assassins, 
possessing enchanted and poisoned wine for the pur¬ 
pose of taking his life. Mr. Buys, who had fled from 
the Colony on account of debt, being familiar with the 
language, was in the first instance of essential service 
to the missionary. Gaika was evidently struck with 
the peculiarity of the Doctor’s character, being alto¬ 
gether different from any of those he had seen before, 
and observing he never wore a hat, he asked him if 
God had ordered him not to do so. 

Some time elapsed before the crafty monarch would 
give his consent that they should remain in his domi¬ 
nions ; and when this was granted, and a suitable 
spot selected, the Doctor adds, in true Gospel sim¬ 
plicity, “ Brother Edmonds and I cut down long grass 
and rushes for thatching, and felled trees in the wood. 
I kneeled down on the grass, thanking the Lord Jesus 
that he had provided me a resting-place before the 
face of our enemies and Satan, praying that from 
under this root the seed of the Gospel might spread 
northwards through all Africa.” 



Some idea may be formed of the deplorable ignor¬ 
ance of the natives concerning the object of these men 
of God, from the following facts, occurrences similar 
to which the writer has often witnessed in other parts 
of the interior. After reading their evening chapter, 
when the missionaries arose to kneel around the fire 
with the Hottentots, a native, who was with them, 
was so terrified, that he seized his spear, and running 
ofi' to the field, hid himself, supposing they intended 
to murder him. A few days after, a young Kafir 
woman going to visit the party, seeing in the distance 
their tent shaken by the wind, and supposing it to 
be some rapacious beast which the messengers of 
peace had let loose to devour her, bolted ofi’ through 
the river into the forest, where, missing the path, she 
had nearly lost her life by falling into a pit. 

The Doctor, with his life in his hand, in the midst 
of a people among whom the murder of a white man 
was considered a meritorious deed, continued his 
onward course, like a ship rising above every suc¬ 
ceeding wave which threatens to engulf it; and so 
completely was his mind absorbed and baffled by the 
vanity and dull monotony around, that for a time 
lie kept his sabbath on the Saturday. Deeply did 
he deplore the departure of his fellow-labourer, Mr. 
Edmonds, to which the Doctor refers in the spirit of 
Christian charitv, and ascribes it not to a diminution 
of fraternal love, but to an insurmountable aversion 
on his part to the people, and a strong desire to 
labour among the Hindoos of Bengal. 

After Mr. E.’s departure, which was on the 1st 
of January, the Doctor, in his cheerless abode, was 
instant in season and out of season, eagerly em- 



bracing every opportunity of recommending the 
Gospel, and catching each little ray of light that 
beamed on his devious path. He was a man of 
exalted genius and learning. He had mingled with 
courtiers. He had been an inmate of the universi¬ 
ties of Leyden and Edinburgh. He had obtained 
plaudits for his remarkable progress in literature, 
in philosophy, divinity, physic, and the military art. 
He was not only a profound student in ancient lan¬ 
guages, hut in all the modern European tongues, 
even to that of the Highlanders of Scotland, and 
had distinguished himself in the armies of his earthly 
sovereign, in connexion with which he rose to be 
captain of horse and lieutenant of dragoon guards. 
Yet this man, constrained by the ‘‘ love of Christ,” 
could cheerfully lay aside all his honours, mingle with 
savages, bear their sneers and contumely, condescend 
to serve the meanest of his troublesome guests—take 
the axe, the sickle, the spade, and the mattock—lie 
down on the place where dogs repose, and spend 
nights with his couch drenched with rain, the cold 
wind bringing his fragile house about his ears. 
Though annoyed hy the nightly visits of hungry 
hyenas, sometimes destroying his sheep and travel¬ 
ling appurtenances, and even seizing the leg of beef 
at his tent door,—though compelled to wander about 
in quest of lost cattle, and exposed to the perplexing 
and humbling caprice of those whose characters were 
stains on human nature — whisperings occasionally 
reaching his ears that murderous plans were in pro¬ 
gress for his destruction—he calmly proceeded with 
his benevolent efforts, and to secure his object, would 
stoop with “ the meekness of wisdom” to please and 



propitiate the rude and wayward children of the desert 
whom he sou 2 :ht to bless. 

In the midst of all his discouragements, when 
he discovered the faintest image of his Lord and 
Master in a poor Hottentot or Kafir, he was en¬ 
raptured. When told by a Hottentot woman that 
she incessantly prayed to Jesus to reveal himself to 
her, and teach her what she ought to know, his 
heart was filled with joy; and he adds, “ I prayed 
the Lord that it might please him to accompany the 
unworthy efforts of his vile servant with the influences 
of his Spirit. And, oh, how did my soul rejoice that 
the Lord had given me in this wilderness, among 
tigers and wolves, and at such a distance from Chris¬ 
tians, a poor heathen woman with whom I could 
converse confidently of the mysteries of the hidden 
communion with Christ. Oh, that I may not be de¬ 
ceived. Lo, my winter is past—the voice of the 
turtle is already heard in the land.” In one part of 
his journal he says, ‘‘ Satan roared like a lion. It 
would not he prudent to mention the particulars of 
his assaults, hut it was resolved that I should be 
killed as a conspirator against the king of this 
country.” While, however, thus exposed to the 
fury and jealousy of those whose feet were swift 
to shed blood, especially that of a white man, his 
whole journal exhibits an unwavering reliance on the 
name of the Lord, which he found to be a strong 

The native magicians having failed in their attempts 
to make rain, Gaika sent a reward of two milch 
cows and their calves, soliciting the Doctor to use 
his efforts. He replied that he could not make rain. 



but could and would pray for it. His prayers were 
heard; rain fell abundantly, but the Doctor refused 
to accept the cattle; on which account Buys and 
others looked upon him as a fool, and declared, that 
though he did not like to take them, they would 
take good care that the king should never get them 
back. More than this. Buys, another Gehazi, sent 
word to Gaika, that the number was not sufficient 
for the rain, which induced the latter to send more, 
all of which Buys reserved for himself, unknown to 
Vanderkemp at the time. 

It is impossible to take a review of the character 
of Vanderkemp under these circumstances, without 
admiring his devotion to his work, and without recog¬ 
nizing him as a pioneer of no ordinary character to 
all subsequent missionary operations in that country, 
now carried on by the London, Glasgow, and Wes¬ 
leyan Missionary Societies. How insignificant have 
been the privations and dangers of more modern 
labourers, when compared with those of Vanderkemp, 
Kicherer, Anderson, and Albrecht, who first entered 
those regions of heathenism, introducing the gospel 
plough, and casting the seed into an ungenial soil, 
where, though in some instances it remained long 
buried, it eventually produced “ an abundance of 
corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; 
the fruit whereof shall shake like Lebanon!” To 
none is this comparison more applicable than to 
Dr. Vanderkemp. He came from a university to 
stoop to teach the alphabet to the poor naked Hot¬ 
tentot and Kafir—from the society of nobles, to 
associate with beings of the lowest grade in the scale 
of humanity—from stately mansions, to the filthy 



hovel of the greasy African — from the army to in¬ 
struct the tierce savage the tactics of a heavenly 
warfare under the banner of the Prince of Peace — 
from the study of physic to become the guide to 
the balm in Gilead, and the Physician there—and, 
finally, from a life of earthly honour and ease, to be 
exposed to perils of waters, of robbers, of his own 
countrymen, of the heathen, in the city, in the wil¬ 
derness. All who are acquainted with the history 
of our African missions, must admit these facts, and 
say. They, indeed, laboured, and we have entered into 
their labours. 

Tbe following extract from Kay’s “ Travels and 
Kesearches in Kafir-land,” cannot be read without 
deep interest :— 

“ The Mission stations in Kaffraria literally constitute folds, 
surrounded by evil spirits, as well as by beasts of prey ; and all 
that rally round our standard are like so many sheep gathered 
together out of the wilderness. Within the last few days several 
have been added to our number: amongst whom is one whose case 
is worthy of particular notice. She is an aged Hottentot, who was 
baptized by the late Mr. Vanderkemp, about thirty years ago. 
During the short time spent by that devoted Missionary amongst 
the Kafir tribes, he taught her, and two or three other females, a 
knowledge of letters. This she afterwards improved by assiduous 
application, so that she was at length enabled to read the sacred 
Scriptures, a copy of which, presented by her venerable tutor, she 
still retains to this very day. Although, from that time to this 
she had never enjoyed the privilege of sitting under a Christian 
ministry, it would, nevertheless, appear that she ever retained a 
sense of religion, and a very strong attachment to her Bible. On 
liearing of the establishment of Butterworth, she anxiously strove 
to get her heathenish husband (Lochenberg) into the mind for 
removing to the Mission village, that she might once more hear 
the Gospel, and get her poor children instructed. But to this he 
would never consent, well knowing that his deeds were of such a 



character as would not bear the light. The measure of his iniquity, 
however, being full, the hand of violence was permitted to remove 
him out of the way some months ago ; and the shocking circum¬ 
stances connected with his death, constitute a striking comment 
upon that passage of holy writ, ‘ Consider this, ye that forget God, 
lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.’ 

‘‘He was one of the Dutch farmers who fled from the Colon v, 
about the time when Mr. Vanderkemp was endeavouring to com¬ 
mence his mission. Professing great regard for the latter on ac¬ 
count of his ministerial character, these fugitives flocked around 
him, moved when he moved, and encamped where he encamped. 
They had not been with him long, however, before his faithfulness 
aroused determined enmity, and they secretly strove to injure him 
in every possible way. Although some of them had taken native 
wives, and all been obliged to take refuge in the territories of the 
natives, their deep-rooted prejudices against the latter still con¬ 
tinued, insomuch that Mr. Vanderkemp’s preaching to them ren¬ 
dered him contemptible in their eyes. ‘ 'Whenever they saw him,’ 
said old Saartje, ‘ go into the bush for prayer or meditation, one or 
other of the Christi mensche (Christians) immediately ran into his 
tent to steal. His chests were frequently broken open, and his 
money taken away, until at last he had scarcely doublejees (pence) 
sufficient to carry him back to the Colony.’ 

“ It does not appear that any one of this party died a natural 
death. ‘ Faber,’ said my informant, who was well acquainted with 
all the circumstances, ‘ was afterwards hung in the Colony as a 
rebel. Buys wandered about amongst the tribes, murdering and 
plundering, until he himself was murdered, Botha was killed by 
the Kafirs, at the instigation of his companion. The hut in which 
Bezuidenhoud slept was one night fired by the natives, and he was 
burnt to death. The Irishman, (a deserter connected with the 
band,) together with one of his children, was also burnt to ashes, 
while asleep, by one of the native women with whom he had lived ; 
and, as already intimated, Lochenberg himself, ‘ whom vengeance 
suffered not to live,’ was literally cut to pieces by the Amakwabi, 
about the middle of 1829.” 

At the close of the year 1800, Dr. Vanderkemp, 
owing to a combination of circumstances, left Kahr- 



land, for GraafF Reinet, principally to meet the two 
brethren, Vanderlingen and Read, and remained a 
considerable time there, during a rebellion among the 
farmers. He visited Kafir-land again, but from the 
unsettled state of the frontier, was compelled to relin¬ 
quish the mission and return to GraafF Reinet, where 
he laboured among the Hottentots. General Dundas 
offered means of forming a station in the Colony, ‘‘ to 
endeavour,” as the governor expressed it, “ to ame¬ 
liorate the spiritual and temporal condition of that 
unhappy people, whom, upon every principle of hu¬ 
manity and justice, government is bound to protect.” 



Dr. Vanderkemp’s mission commenced among the Hottentots—The 
Governor’s kindness—the station attacked—Trying circumstances 
—Escape to Fort Frederick—Bethelsdorp—Successes of Dr. V.’s 
efforts—His death and character—A remarkable incident—■ 
—Kat River mission—Kafir mission resumed—Affecting scene— 
Williams’s death — Brownlee finally resumes the mission— 
Effects of the Gospel, 

In February, 1801, Dr. Vanderkemp and Mr. Read, 
with more than 100 Hottentots, left GraaiF Reinet. 
Their temporary residence was appointed at Botha’s 
farm, about seven miles west of Algoa Bay, where 
they continued with the Hottentots for nearly eight 
months, leading a life of uninterrupted anxiety, per¬ 
plexity, and danger, the Doctor being for some time 
confined to his bed with rheumatism. Though liber¬ 
ally assisted with necessaries by government order 
from Fort Frederick, they were continually exposed 
to enemies of different descriptions, and, but for God’s 
protecting arm, must have been destroyed root and 

Their institution made them an object of hatred to 
many of the colonists, who described them as taking 
part with the plundering Hottentots and Kafirs ; and 
representing their station as a refuge for robbers and 
murderers; while the truth was, that it was an 



asylum only for those who had separated themselves 
from such banditti. Notwithstanding this, a govern¬ 
ment order, to the great sorrow of the missionaries, 
prohibited the reception of any Hottentots into this 
asylum^ and those thus repelled, chose to maintain 
themselves in the woods, among brutes, rather than 
return to their own tribes. General Dundas, approv¬ 
ing of the Doctor’s scheme, wished the whole party to 
remove for safety to the fortress, and, regarding the 
missionaries as dead men if they did not accept of 
his offer, proposed to them again, as a last resource 
for the preservation of their lives, to sail with him 
to the Cape of Good Hope, and defer the instruction 
of the Hottentots in that region till a more favourable 
season ; but to this the Doctor would not consent. 

To the honour of General Dundas, let it be again 
recorded, that, so fully was he convinced of the duty 
and importance of what was then considered utopian, 
that he ordered for the use of the station, from the 
Bay, (Fort Frederick,) 6000 pounds of rice, 6 casks 
of salt meat, 200 sheep, 59 labouring oxen, 11 milch- 
cows, 96 horned cattle, 3 wagons, 1 fishing-net, 1 
corn-mill, 2 corn-sieves, and a smith’s bellows, be¬ 
sides implements of agriculture. Scarcely had this 
generous action cheered their prospects, when, as 
they write,— 

“A troop of plundering Hottentots attacked our place in the 
middle of the night, and having fired about fifty times with mus¬ 
kets, took away all our cattle. All our endeavours to persuade 
them to a friendly agreement were in vain ; they did not give any 
answer but by firing. One of our most esteemed Hottentots ap¬ 
proached them, and spoke in a friendly manner; but they cried, 
‘Look, there comes a peace-maker; kill him, shoot him!’ u])on 
which he received a ball in his leg. We hoped they would have 

D 2 



been content with onr cattle, but it seemed that their intention 
was to kill us. They made an assault on our dwellings, and, for 
that purpose made use of our cattle in the Kafrarian manner. Pro¬ 
vidence so ordered it, that brother Read had laid some newly-sawn 
planks in the passage, between our house and the next to it. The 
cattle which were drove before them were afraid of these, so that 
they would not go over them, and turned aside. The enemy now 
saw’ himself exposed, and our people being in the utmost danger, 
compelled by self-defence, fired without being able to take aim, on 
account of the darkness ; but the hand of God directed a ball in 
such a way, that the chief of this troop was wounded in the thigh, 
by which the artery of the thigh was cut through ; the violent effu¬ 
sion of blood put an end to his life in a few minutes ; on this the 
whole troop fled, leaving behind them all the cattle except eighteen, 
which in the beginning of the assault had been driven away. No¬ 
body could guess the reason of this unexpected deliverance, for the 
Hottentots fired but twice. On the following morning the dead 
body was found, and recognised as that of Andries Stuurman, 
brother of Klaas Stuurman. On the subsequent night we were 
surrounded again by enemies, but finding that we had moved our 
cattle from the Kraal within the square, which was surrounded by 
our houses, and that we had barricadoed all the entrances to it, they 
left us unmolested. But two days after, having got some rein¬ 
forcement from the Kafirs, they attacked us anew, in the middle of 
the day, as a part of our cattle was driven to the pasture. They 
stabbed one of our wood-cutters during the time of his being gone 
into the wood to pray; and now they drove away our cattle. All 
our people attacked them in the greatest confusion, and with fury, 
leaving the place, with their wives and children, entirely unde¬ 
fended. They put the assailants to flight, and brought the cattle 
back again, except eight oxen, who w'ere either killed or mortally 
wounded. We always had instructed our people that it was their 
duty rather to part with their earthly goods than to save them by 
killing another; and that it was not the duty of a Christian to kill 
any body but when the safety of his own life, or that of a third 
person, should render it absolutely necessary. But our Hottentots 
took another view of the subject, and looked upon themselves as 
competent to make use of their arms, as well to defend their goods 
as their lives; they also showed too plainly that they had obtained 



a certain degree of pleasure in fighting. We were not at all pleased 
with this, because our intention was to gain our enemies hy a soft 
and amiable behaviour ; and thus by no means to ^^rovoke them by 
a hostile opposition. Besides this, we foresaw that the enemy, re¬ 
inforcing himself more and more, at last would be able to lead on a 
superior power, sufficient to destroy us entirely.’" 

These successive attacks induced them very pro¬ 
perly to take refuge, with their 300 people, in Fort 
Frederick. Here they remained for a time, conti¬ 
nuing their religious services under circumstances 
more distressing to the minds of the missionaries 
than the horrors of savage fury from which they 
had escaped. They were associated with those who 
had the misfortune to be comparative strangers to 
the means of grace, and inured to a recklessness 
of feeling in regard to eternal realities, which a life 
of warfare has (we may presume since the days of 
Cain) produced on tribes once civilized and refined 
in taste and feeling. This exposed their people to 
seduction, drunkenness, and other vices. 

After the arrival of General Janssen, the Colony 
having been ceded to the Dutch, a spot was granted 
on which to fix a permanent station ; and on the 
2nd of June, they took up their abode on Kooboo, 
which from that period they called Bethelsdorp. 
This situation, from its sterility and want of water, 
soon convinced them that it was most unsuitahle 
for a missionary farm; and the only wonder is, that 
it should have been permitted to continue, and even 
become, in many respects, a sinking fund, while 
both missionaries and people (a small number) were 
compelled to live a hungry, self-denying life. Five 
vears after its commencement, thev wi'ite to the 



Directors, that they had been without bread for a 
long time, and did not expect to procure any for 
three or four months ; neither were there any vege¬ 
tables, owing to the barrenness of the soil. This, of 
course, was a grievous impediment to their labours, 
and an effectual barrier to the very objects for which 
this station was selected; and it is a kind of madness 
to expend large sums and great toil on such a waste, 
except for the purpose of having a modern Tadmor 
in the wilderness. Yet, notwithstanding all these 
discouraging circumstances, many were the demon¬ 
strations of the Divine blessing on their labours. 
‘‘The progress, also, of their scholars in learning to 
read and write, was astonishing to them, and above 
all, their facility in acquiring religious knowledge, 
knowing, as they did full well, the peculiar apathy, 
stupidity, and aversion to any exertion, mental or 
corporeal, which characterises the natives.” Dr. 
Vanderkemp having, with true Christian benevo¬ 
lence, pleaded the cause of the oppressed,—for there 
were oppressions, national and individual, which we 
must leave till that day when every one will receive 
according to the deeds done in the body;—the 
great struggle commenced which terminated, through 
the persevering exertions of the Rev. Dr. Philip, on 
July 17th, 1828, in the effectual emancipation of the 
Hottentots. All the contentions, heart-burnings, 
broken heads and broken hearts which marked the 
long struggle, will appear hereafter in the page of 
history—like the conquest of Mexico by Cortez, the 
colonization of America, or the savagism of our 
forefathers in their border wars—humbling, but in¬ 
structive mementos to succeeding generations. Dr. 



V.’s interference in the cause of suffering humanity, 
or rather his disclosure of some of the wron 2 :s of 
the Hottentots, led to his being summoned, with Mr. 
Read, to Cape Town, to appear before an extraor¬ 
dinary commission appointed by Lord Caledon. This 
was followed by most important results : for the 
Doctor having been fully borne out in his facts, his 
Excellency directed that commissioners should per¬ 
sonally visit the several districts where enormities 
had been perpetrated, and that the guilty should be 
punished. This was among the last public services 
which Dr. Vanderkemp rendered to that peoj)le, who 
had now been the object of his solicitude for eleven 
years. He had long contemplated a mission to Ma¬ 
dagascar, and though now far advanced in years, his 
soul burned with youthful ardour to enter on that 
perilous undertaking. It was in his heart, but the 
Great Head of the church had otherwise ordained 
it; for, after a few days’ illness, he closed his eyes 
on this world, Dec. 15th, 1811, after breathing out 
the Christian assurance, ‘‘ All is well.” 

Thus ended the memorable life of Dr.Vanderkemp. 
Avoiding the extravagances of momentary feeling, 
which declares that His equal is not to be found 
upon earth, and that he was little behind the chiefest 
apostles of our Lord,” we nevertheless cheerfully 
concede to him this meed of praise. Few men would 
have encountered the storms which he braved, and, 
perhaps fewer still have been more conspicuously 
distinguished by success in their efforts to emancipate 
the Flottentots from temporal and spiritual thraldom. 
Divine Providence, from time to time, in a remark¬ 
able manner, raises up men ada})ted to certain situa- 



tions, apart from which, they would have been like 
the flower which “wastes its sweetness in the desert 
air.” Such were Luther, Wickliffe, Knox, and a host 
of others ; and though those who well knew and loved 
Vanderkemp, would charge us with blind partiality, 
if we placed him on an equality with those distin¬ 
guished reformers ; yet no less can be said of his la¬ 
bours than that they were those of an extraordinary 
man : and, considering the time and state of affairs 
in the Colony in which he lived, and the native 
character of the tribes among whom he laboured, the 
grace of God made him the honoured instrument of 
doing wonders. Dr. Vanderkemp was the friend and 
advocate of civil liberty. The condition of the slaves 
pressed heavily upon his mind, and the sufferings of 
those who had embraced the Gospel, made large de¬ 
mands on his almost unbounded generosity; so that 
he expended nearly £1000 of his personal property 
in unbinding the heavy burdens, and setting the cap¬ 
tives free. It is probable that his extreme sympathy 
with this enslaved people induced him, with more 
feeling than judgment, to choose a wife from amongst 
them. Being a most unsuitable companion for such 
a person, her subsequent conduct cast a gloom 
over the remnant of his days of suffering and toil ; 
and as I have heard it remarked by one who knew 
him well, undoubtedly accelerated his death. It was 
from his lips that the Kafirs (a nation of atheists) 
first heard the Gospel, the theme of Divine love; and 
if we cast our eyes over the history of missions, and 
the successes of the “Martyr of Erromanga,” we see 
at once the value of a pioneer of almost any descrip¬ 
tion, and more especially of such a pioneer as Dr. 



Vanderkemp. He was the first public defender of 
the rights of the Hottentot. Although his expansive 
sympathy betrays not unfrequently in his writings 
what may be deemed instability of purpose, it is ob¬ 
viously attributable to a benevolent desire to grasp 
the whole of the race, while his eyes, wandering 
around the tempestuous horizon, sought a haven in 
which to shelter them from the storm. He counted 
not his own life dear to himself; for when advised for 
his own safety to leave the Hottentots for a season, 
his reply was, “ If I knew that I should save my own 
life by leaving them, I should not fear to offer that 
life for the least child amongst them.” In this, 
though wanting in prudence, he displayed a magna¬ 
nimity of soul which, in other circumstances, would 
have called forth the applause of a nation. 

But it may be said, that this is a partial view of the 
character of this great man ; and it is only just to ad¬ 
mit that the Doctor was eccentric; and many, very 
many of his personal hardships were self-inflicted. 
Though his mission to the Kafirs was a bold, and, 
in Africa, an unprecedented undertaking, he was 
always within the reach of civilized men; and except 
when Gaika detained him a short time in the country, 
he had always an asylum open to receive him. His 
trials in this respect were very different from those of 
the founders of the Namacqua and Griqua Missions, 
who were hundreds of miles beyond the abodes of 
civilized society, and the protecting arm of civil 
])owcr. In a colonial village, where there were many 
who admired and were ready to serve him, the 
Doctor would go out to the water to wash his own 
linen ; and frecpiently at home and abroad, he would 



dispense with hat, shirt, and shoes, while the patron 
and advocate of civilization. These were anomalies 
and shades of character, which of course added no¬ 
thing to his usefulness, while his ultra notions on the 
subject of predestination left a leaven in some of the 
African churches, which it required the labour of 
many years to remove. It is also but justice to add, 
that Dr. Vanderkemp was not without sympathy; 
there were many noble-minded colonists who took a 
deep interest in his sufferings and labours ; who felt 
strong compassion for the spiritual destitution of the 
Hottentot race, and the slave population ; and who 
were liberal in supporting the cause. Stimulated by 
the example of Vanderkemp and Kicherer, they la¬ 
boured to promote the kingdom of Christ among the 
aborigines. These were noble minds, who wept over 
the country’s wrongs; and it is scarcely possible to 
conceive the Doctor’s feelings when on his journey to 
Graaff Reinet, beyond the Gamka River, he came to 
the house of Mr. de Beer, who, on hearing the object 
of the party, received them with uncommon joy;” 
and calling his family and slaves together, fell upon 
his knees, and uttered this remarkable prayer:— 
“ O Lord, thou hast afflicted me with inexpressible 
grief, in taking my child from me, whom I buried this 
day; but now thou rejoicest my soul with joy greater 
than all my grief, in showing me that thou hast heard 
my prayers for the conversion of the Kafirs, and giving 
me to see this moment the fulfilment of thy pro¬ 
mises.” He then addressed himself to them, and sang 
several psalms and hymns, relative to the calling of 
the heathen. 

Dr. Vanderkemp’s death was a stroke severely felt; 



but He who had called him from his labours, con¬ 
tinued to bless the seed sown, under the fostering 
care of Mr. Read and others. Bethelsdorp, under 
many difficulties and disadvantages, grew and multi¬ 
plied. New churches were planted at Pacaltsdorp, 
Theopolis, and other places, through the instrumen¬ 
tality of the Rev. J. Campbell, in his first visit to 
Africa, who on that occasion was the means of giving 
a new impulse to the spirit of missions there, as well 
as among the churches at home. 

The Kat River mission was commenced at the 
suggestion of the Hon., now Sir A. Stockenstrom, 
and was, so far as the plan went, a measure which 
will reflect lasting honour on the memory of that 
enlightened and liberal individual.* To the beautiful 
and fertile Kafir vales, the principal of the Hottentots 
from Bethelsdorp, Theopolis, and other places, flocked. 
This was a seasonable movement, as those stations 
were no longer, after the emancipation of that people, 
asylums to those who were active and willing to earn 
a competence elsewhere. The results of the mission 
at Philiptown, and its branches, the members of 
which had been culled from those in the Colony, 
have been such as to prove that the plan was well 
laid, and carried into efficient operation. The last 

* The author does not wish it to he understood that he approves 
of the policy which deprived the Kafirs of that rich and fertile 
portion of their territories, and gave it to the Hottentots. Bannister, 
in liis “ Humane Policy,” makes the following very judicious re¬ 
mark on the subject:—“ To obtain land for any portion of that 
oppressed race, is so good an act, that it would be ungracious to 
look harshly at the mode of doing it, if our character for justice to 
others were not involved in the particular way chosen.” 



year’s report of Kat River station exhibits 500 
members in the churchy and 912 children and 
adults in the schools; while their subscriptions to 
the support of the mission are liberal,—though, I 
am aware, far from being equal to the entire expenses, 
as many of the friends of missions have been led 
to expect, and which was anticipated at Bethelsdorp 
many years ago. 

The colonial stations, though deprived of the most 
influential and intelligent of their inhabitants, con¬ 
tinue to struggle and prosper. Bethelsdorp still 
maintains comparative respectability, under the de¬ 
voted but noiseless labours of Mr. Kitchingman. We 
have now within the limits of the Colony sixteen 
stations, and about thirty Missionaries. How would 
the venerable Vanderkemp gaze, were he to rise, and 
behold the harvest which has been gathered in from 
the people whose ignorance and degradation called 
forth all the sympathies and energies of his enlight¬ 
ened mind ! 

“ The troubles of departed years, 

Bring joys unknown before, 

And soul-refreshing are the tears 
O’er wounds that bleed no more.”* 

But to return to Kafir-land, where the veteran 
sowed in tears, hut where Missionaries of different 
societies now reap in joy. It was not before the year 
1816, in the month of July, that a successful effort 
was made by Mr. Joseph Williams. At that time, 
with his wife and child, he took up his abode at the 
Kat River. Short as Dr. Vanderkemp’s labours among 

* James Montgomery. 



the Kafirs ^Yere, he left a savour of the Gospel behind 
him, which prepared the way for others, after many 
long years had rolled by, during which many of the 
Doctor’s acquaintances had been taught, by fearful 
lessons, not, alas ! to admire the nation of whites, but 
rather to increase their suspicions and alarms. But 
Jankanna’s (Vanderkemp’s) name still diffused a fra¬ 
grance among the yet untamed and unsubdued Kafirs. 
Intercourse with the missionary station at Bethelsdorp 
kept up this delightful feeling; and Messrs. Read and 
Williams, in their previous reconnoitring journey, were 
hailed as the sons of Jankanna. 

Most auspicious was the commencement of this 
mission, while the energy and devotedness of Wil¬ 
liams, with the party he took with him from Bethels¬ 
dorp, were soon likely, under the Divine blessing, 
to make the wilderness and solitary place rejoice. 
Temporary houses were raised, ground was cleared 
for cultivation, a water-course and dam were in 
preparation, while the Kafirs assembled for daily 
instruction ; and the beautiful vale which had often 
echoed to the din of savage war, was likely soon to 
become a peaceful Zion, to which the Kafir tribes 
would repair to hold their solemn feasts. Little 
more than two years had run their round, when 
Williams was numbered with the dead. His beloved 
partner, (now Mrs. Robson,) a woman of no common 
fortitude, was his sole attendant in the lonely vale, 
and saw in her expiring husband the bright pros¬ 
pects they had of permanent success among the 
Kafirs, and into which she had entered with all her 
energies of mind and body, blasted for a season. 
About to be left with two fatherless babes, her cir- 


Williams’s death. 

cumstances were such as even her own pen would fail 
to describe; but the widow’s God was there. Take, 
for example, the following extract from her journal. 
After being enabled to resign her dearest earthly 
friend, she asked one of the Kafirs if he had “ No 
wish to see his teacher before the Lord took him 
to himself? ^ Yes,’ was his reply, ‘but I do not 
like to ask you, because I think it will make your 
heart sore.’ He then approached, and sat down 
by the bedside. I asked him if he prayed? ‘Yes,’ 
he said. And what do you pray for ? ‘ I pray the 

Lord, as he had brought us a teacher over the 
great sea water, and hath thus long spared him to 
tell us His word, that He would be pleased to raise 
him up again to tell us more of that Great AYord.’ 
I asked. Do you pray for me ? ‘ Yes; I pray that 

if the Lord should take away your husband from 
you, he would support and protect you and your 
little ones in the midst of this wild and barbarous 

Cheerless and lonely must have been the first 
days of her widowhood. She instructed her semi- 
civilized attendants to prepare the wood, and make 
a coffin ; and, with a weeping hand, followed the 
desire of her eyes to the silent dust, there to slumber 
till the morning of the resurrection, when He who 
cut short his work in righteousness, will show that 
Williams, in his short career, finished the work given 
him to do. I saw no monument to mark his tomb; 
hut he has left an imperishable one, in having been 
the means of lighting up the torch of Divine truth, 
which, notwithstanding the political war, strife, and 
bloodshed which followed between the Kafirs and 



the Colonists, was not extinguished, but served to 
lighten the path of those who followed in his wake. 
To this every missionary has borne ample testimony ; 
and his labours were blessed to an extent far beyond 
his most sanguine expectations. So much had this 
good man gained on the confidence of the Kafirs, 
that Gaika himself, during the season of political 
discord, had more confidence in the rectitude of the 
missionary than in any one of the local authorities, 
or even in the governor himself. 

Thus again was the candle removed from Kafir- 
land, and the policy of that age refused, at that time, 
to allow another missionary to proceed to water the 
seed sown by Mr. Williams. Mr. Brownlee was ulti¬ 
mately appointed as missionary in the service of 
government, and commenced a mission at the Chumie 
in 1820.* He was followed and supported by the 
Glasgow missionaries, and last, though not least, the 
Weslevan missionaries entered the field; and now 

* jNIr. Brownlee soon attached himself again to the London 
missionary Society, and, continning at his post, has had the honour 
and ha2:)piness to witness the increase of missionary labours in 
Kafir-land, where he toiled hard, and suffered much, long before 
any others were permitted to enter that country at all. One of 
our Wesleyan brethren, fully competent to judge, now in this 
country, remarks, that “ his labours have been indefatigable, though 
unostentatious ; and to place this wmrfhy man in his proper position, 
it is not indeed necessary to imitate the unhallowed practice of 
some, who to accomplish a purpose, or to gratify party spirit, invi¬ 
diously and fulsomely cry up one missionary at the expense of his 
brethren, whose labours, though noiseless, have been far more 
abundant.” The London Missionary Society has now five stations 
in Kafir-land, including one for the Bushmen in the Tarnbookie 
country ; the twm Glasgow^ Societies, six ; and the Wesleyan So¬ 
ciety, twelve. 



they present a band of labourers whose endeavours, 
if they continue to receive the Divine blessing, bid 
fair to subdue that people to the sceptre of Jesus, 
prevent the rapine and bloodshed which characterised 
by-gone years and the late destructive war, and 
save a nation from ruin. Already the warrior has 
exchanged the hoarse war song for the anthems of 
peace and love, while the printing press is called 
into operation to transfer into their own language the 
oracles of God. Let us hail the triumphs of the 
cross, by whomsoever it may be borne, as all have one 
undivided object, the glory of God in the salvation 
of man. 

“Yes, for a season Satan shall prevail, 

And hold as if secure his dark domain ; 

The prayers of righteous men may seem to fail, 

And Heaven’s glad tidings be proclaimed in vain. 

But wait in faith ; ere long shall spring again 
The seed that seemed to perish in the ground; 

And, fertilized by Zion’s latter rain, 

The long-parched land shall laugh, with harvests crown’d, 

And through those silent wastes Jehovah’s praise resound.” 


Bushmen apply for teachers—Mr. Kicherer goes to Zak River— 
Difficulties and sacrifices—Liberality of the farmers—The mis¬ 
sion abandoned—The condition of the Bushmen—Lichtenstein’s 
opinion—The Bushmen’s resources and habits—Provoking cha¬ 
racteristics—Inhuman practice—Mr, Kicherer’s description— 
Cruelty to offspring—Bushmen possess amiable qualities—Mis¬ 
sions resumed at Toornherg, &c.—Missionaries ordered into the 
Colony—Mr. Faure’s affecting statement—Review of missions to 
the Bushmen—Plan recommended—The Bushmen and the goats 
■—Stratagem in hunting. 

It is of vast importance to notice the first, though 
apparently obscure indications of the will of Him 
who, while he 

“ Rides upon the stormy sky. 

And manages the seas,” 

condescends to stoop from his throne amidst unap¬ 
proachable glory, to render means the most feeble 
and unthought of, the guide and pole-star of his 
servants, whom he has commissioned to preach the 
Gospel to every creature. 

While Dr. Vanderkemp and Edmonds proceeded to 
Kafir-land, Messrs. Kicherer, Kramer, and Edwards 
bent their course to the Zak River, between 400 and 
500 miles north-east of Cape Town. 

Who would have supposed for a moment that 




Kicherer’s course, which was originally towards Kafir- 
land, would have been diverted hy Bushmen-amhas- 
sadors, the feeblest, poorest, most degraded and de¬ 
spised of all the sable sons of Ham ? It appears that 
some time previous, while the church at home was 
engaged in prayer that the great Head of the church 
would open a door for his servants whom they were 
sending forth, a treaty had been made between the 
Bushmen and Florus Fischer, with other farmers, 
who had suffered terribly in their flocks and herds 
from these depredators of the desert. The Bushmen 
seeing Florus Fischer, who was a good man, solemnly 
appeal to Almighty God to witness the transaction, 
and observing that he was in the habit of assembling 
his family for worship, morning and evening, were 
led to inquire into the Divine character, and to solicit 
a Christian teacher. Mr. Fiseher cheerfully afforded 
encouragement; and, though it appeared something 
like hoping against hope, he, at their request, took 
some of the principal of them to Cape Town for 
this purpose. 

They arrived there just before our brethren, a cir¬ 
cumstance which left the latter no reason to doubt of 
being called of God to labour in that quarter. The 
brethren received unbounded kindness and atten¬ 
tion from the government, and assistance from the 
Harmers, who loaded them with things requisite to 
commence the station; while some accompanied them 
to the spot they first selected, whieh they named 
“ Happy Prospect.” Here Messrs. Kicherer and 
Kramer laboured with primitive zeal and simplicity, 
to raise the most abject of our species; and had not 
their faith been strong in the promises of God, they 



must have sunk under the very thought of making 
an attempt. 

At the present period of advanced knowledge in 
missionary enterprise, however, it is easy to see that, 
according to the common course of events, the cir¬ 
cumstances under which that mission was commenced 
were ominous of its short duration. God, in his 
infinite wisdom, had other, and far more extensive 
ends to accomplish, than simply a mission to the 

Zak River became the finger-post to the Namaquas, 
Corannas, Griquas, and Bechuanas; for it was hy 
means of that mission that these tribes and their 
condition became known to the Christian world. 
Kicherer had great comfort in his intercourse with 
many good farmers, who exerted themselves with 
commendable liberality in favour of the object he had 
in view. He was soon encouraged by the accession 
of many Hottentots and Bastards to the station, 
without whose assistance it would not have been pos¬ 
sible for him to have lived, as he afterwards found. 
The Bushmen, with few exceptions, could never ap¬ 
preciate his object; hut, as a people, continued to 
harass and impoverish those who remained attached 
to the objects of the missionary. Mr. K.’s life was 
more than once threatened, hut his unremitting la¬ 
bours, and those of Mr. Kramer, were signally blessed 
in the conversion of a number of Hottentots and 
Bastards ; and in the details of the mission, the names 
of individuals are mentioned who afterwards became 
the pillars of the Griqua mission ; and from whose 
lips the writer has frequently heard with delight tlie 
records of by-gone years, when they listened to the 

E 2 



voice of Kiclierer, Anderson, and Kramer, at the Zak 
and Orange Rivers. Unhappily the company and 
countenance of the Bushmen could not be com¬ 
manded without a daily portion of victuals and to¬ 
bacco, of which Mr. Kicherer had received an ample 
supply from the farmers. This practice, however 
kindly intended, doubtless contributed to the early 
failure of the mission. The country in which the 
mission was fixed was sterile in the extreme, and rain 
so seldom fell, that they were obliged to depend on 
foreign supplies. Mr. Kicherer having visited Eu¬ 
rope, on his return found the mission in a sufiering 
state. Having little hope of recruiting it, he entered 
the Dutch church, and was appointed minister at 
Graaff Reinet. He left the station in charge of Mr. 
and Mrs. A. Voss ; and a Mr. Botma, a farmer, who 
had sold all he had to aid the mission, and supply the 
absence of Mr. K. These men not having equal re¬ 
sources with the founders of the mission, though dis¬ 
tinguished by exemplary patience under great priva¬ 
tions and hardships, from drought and the plundering 
Bushmen, were compelled to abandon the station. 
This event took place in 1806, and Mr. A. Voss, 
in the following pathetic remark, makes that mission’s 
requiem: “This day we leave Zak River, the place 
wliich has cost us so many sighs, tears, and drops of 
sweat; that place in which we have laboured so many 
days and nights, for the salvation of immortal souls : 
the place which, probably before long, will become a 
heap of ruins.” Thus terminated the mission to Zak 
River, on which tlie directors at home could not help 
looking with the deepest sympathy, as the people were 
some of the first-fruits of their labours ; but thev were 



consoled bv the reilection, that those who followed 
their teachers to the vicinity of Graatf Reinet, con¬ 
tinued to receive instruction, and that the missionaries 
entered into other fields of successful labour. 

When the character and condition of the Bushmen 
are taken into consideration, it is not to be wondered 
at, that the Missionaries found it up-hill work to 
obtain a settlement among them. With the excep¬ 
tion of the Troglodytes, a people said by Pliny to 
exist in the interior of Northern Africa, no tribe or 
people are surely more brutish, ignorant, and miser¬ 
able than the Bushmen of the interior of Southern 
Africa. They have neither house nor shed, neither 
flocks nor herds. Their most delightful home is 
“ afar in the desert,” the unfrequented mountain 
pass, or the secluded recesses of a cave or ravine. 
They remove from place to place, as convenience or 
necessity requires. The man takes his spear, and 
suspends his bow and quiver on his shoulder; while 
the woman, in addition to the burden of a helpless 
infant, frequently carries a mat, an earthen pot, a 
number of ostrich egg-shells, and a few ragged skins, 
bundled on her head or shoulder; and these Saabs, 
as they have been designated, bearing in their cha¬ 
racter a striking resemblance to the Sauneys, or 
Balala, (poor,) among the Bechuanas, have, with few 
exceptions, as already shown, been from time imme¬ 
morial the sons of the field. Accustomed to a migra¬ 
tory life, and entirely dependent on the chase for a 
precarious subsistence, they have contracted habits 
wbicli could scarcely be credited of human beings. 
These habits have by no means been inqiroved by 
incessant conflict with their superior neighbours, who. 


Lichtenstein’s opinion. 

regarding might as identical with right, kill their game, 
plunder their honey nests, seize upon their foun¬ 
tains, and deprive them of their country. Anomalous 
as it may appear, this has been the custom of all 
the more civilized tribes, the colonists not excepted. 
Dr. Lichtenstein asks, “ What had a people like the 
Bushmen to lose—they who are everywhere at home, 
who know not the value of any land?” To this I 
would reply. He loses the means of subsistence; and 
what more can the richest monarch lose ? I recollect 
having felt grateful to a poor Bushwoman for a meal 
of the larvae of ants ; and had that otherwise intelli¬ 
gent traveller been similarly circumstanced, he, per¬ 
haps, would have been tempted to say, “ Behold, I 
am at the point to die, and what profit shall this 
birthright do to me?” Under such circumstances, 
the gems of Golconda would not have satisfied the 
cravings of hunger. Poor Bushman! thy hand 
has been against every one, and every one’s hand 
against thee. For generations past they have been 
hunted like partridges in the mountains. Deprived 
of what nature had made their own, they became 
desperate, wild, fierce, and indomitable in their habits. 
Hunger compels them to feed on every thing edible. 
Ixias, wild garlic, mysembryanthemums, the core of 
aloes, gum of acacias, and several other plants and 
berries, some of which are extremely unwholesome, 
constitute their fruits of the field ; whilst almost every 
kind of living creature is eagerly devoured, lizards, 
locusts, and grasshoppers not excepted. The poi¬ 
sonous, as well as innoxious serpents, they roast and 
eat. They cut off the head of the former, which they 
dissect, and carefully extract the bags, or reservoirs 



of poison, which communicate with the fangs of the 
upper jaw. They mingle it with the milky juice of 
the euphorbia, or with that of a poisonous bulb. 
After simmering for ’some time on a slow fire, it 
acquires the consistency of wax, with which they 
cover the points of their arrows. 

Though the natives of South Africa have an aver¬ 
sion to fish, the Bushmen in the neighbourhood of 
rivers make very ingenious baskets, which they place 
between stones, in the centre of a current, and thus 
they sometimes procure a fry of fish, which in their 
frequent necessity must be acceptable. They ascend 
the mountain’s brow or peak, and, with an acuteness 
of sight perhaps superior to our common telescopes, 
survey the plains beneath, either to discover game or 
cattle, or to watch the movements of those whose herds 
they may have stolen. If danger approaches, they 
ascend almost inaccessible cliffs, from which nothing 
but the rifle ball could dislodge them. When closely 
pursued, they will take refuge in dens and caves, in 
which their enemies have sometimes smothered scores 
to death, blocking up the entrances with brushwood, 
and setting it on fire. 

One characteristic in their predatory expeditions 
is exceedingly provoking. When they have taken 
a troop of cattle, their first object is to escape to a 
rendezvous, a cave or an overhanging precipice, or 
some sequestered spot difficult of access to strangers 
for want of water. As soon as they perceive that any 
of the cattle are too fatigued to proceed, they stab 
them; and if the pursuers come within sight, and 
there is the slightest probability of their being over¬ 
taken, they will thrust their spears, if time permit. 



into every animal in the troop. I have known sixty 
head levelled in this way. This habit, which obtains 
universally among that unfortunate people, exasperates 
their enemies to the last degree, and vengeance falls 
on men, women, and children, whenever they come 
within reach of their missiles. Though their poisoned 
arrows cannot take in one third of the length of a 
musket shot, they aim with great precision. I have 
known men shot dead on the spot with poisoned 
arrows; and others, who did not at first appear to be 
mortally wounded, I have seen die in convulsive 
agony in a few hours. It is impossible to look at 
some of their domiciles, without the inquiry involun¬ 
tarily rising in the mind. Are these the abodes of 
human beings ? In a bushy country, they will form 
a hollow in a central position, and bring the branches 
together over the head. Here the man, his wife, and 
probably a child or two, lie huddled in a heap, on 
a little grass, in a hollow spot, not larger than an 
ostrich’s nest. Where bushes are scarce, they form 
a hollow under the edge of a rock, covering it par¬ 
tially with reeds or grass, and they are often to be 
found in fissures and caves of the mountains. When 
they have abundance of meat, they do nothing but 
gorge and sleep, dance and sing, till their stock is 
exhausted. But hunger, that imperious master, soon 
drives them to the chase. It is astonishing to what 
a distance they will run in pursuit of the animal 
which has received the fatal arrow. I have seen 
them, on the successful return of a hunting party, 
the merriest of the merry, exhibiting bursts of enthu¬ 
siastic joy ; while their momentary happiness, con¬ 
trasted with their real condition, produced on my 


niind the deepest sorrow. Many suffer great distress 
when the weather is cold and rainy, during which not 
unfrequently their children perish from hunger. A 
most inhuman practice also prevails among them, 
that when a mother dies, whose infant is not able 
to shift for itself, it is, without any ceremony, buried 
alive with the corpse of its mother.* 

To the above melancholy description, may be added 
the testimony of Mr. Kicherer, whose circumstances^ 
while living among them, afforded abundant opportu¬ 
nities of becoming intimately acquainted with their 
real condition. “Their manner of life is extremely 
wretched and disgusting. They delight to besmear 
their bodies with the fat of animals, mingled with 
ochre, and sometimes with grime. They are utter 
stran 2 :ers to cleanliness, as thev never wash their 
bodies, but suffer the dirt to accumulate, so that it 
will hang a considerable length from their elbows. 
Their huts are formed by digging a hole in the earth 
about three feet deep, and then making a roof of 
reeds, which is however insufficient to keep off the 
rains. Here they lie close togetherHike pigs in a sty. 
They are extremely lazy, so that nothing will rouse 
them to action but excessive hunger. They will con¬ 
tinue several days together without food, rather than 
be at the pains of procuring it. When compelled to 
sally forth for prey, they are dexterous at destroying 
the various beasts which abound in the country ; and 
they can run almost as well as a horse. They are 
total strangers to domestic happiness. The men have 
several wives, hut conjugal affection is little known. 

* The author had a hoy brought up in his own liouse, wlio was 
tluis rescued from his mother’s grave, when only two years old. 



They take no great care of their children, and never 
correct them except in a fit of rage, when they almost 
kill them hy severe usage. In a quarrel between 
father and mother, or the several wives of a husband, 
the defeated party wreaks his or her vengeance on the 
child of the conqueror, which in general loses its life. 
Tame Hottentots seldom destroy their children, ex¬ 
cept in a fit of passion; but the Bushmen will kill 
their children without remorse, on various occasions ; 
as when they are ill-shaped, when they are in want 
of food, when the father of a child has forsaken its 
mother, or when obliged to flee from the farmers or 
others ; in which case they will strangle them^ smother 
them, cast them away in the desert, or bury them 
alive. There are instances of parents throwing their 
tender offspring to the hungry lion, who stands roar¬ 
ing before their cavern, refusing to depart till some 
peace-offering be made to him. In general their 
children cease to be the objects of a mother’s care as 
soon as they are able to crawl about in the field. In 
some few instances, however, you meet with a spark 
of natural affection, which places them on a level with 
the brute creation.” Oh the miseries to which human 
nature is heir! Hard is the Bushman’s lot, friendless, 
forsaken, an outcast from the world, greatly preferring 
the company of the beasts of prey to that of civil¬ 
ized man. His gorah"^ soothes some solitary hours, 
although its sounds are often responded to by the 

* The gorali is an instrument something like the bow of a violin, 
rather more curved, along which is stretched a cat-gut, to which is 
attached a small piece of quill. The player takes the quill in his 
mouth, and by strong inspirations and respirations of breath, pro¬ 
duces a few soft notes in the vibrations of the cat-gut. 



lion’s roar or the hyena’s howl. He knows no God, 
knows nothing of eternity, yet dreads death ; and has 
no shrine at which he leaves his cares or sorrows. We 
can scarcely conceive of human beings descending 
lower in the scale of ignorance and vice ; while yet 
there can he no question that they are children of one 
common parent with ourselves. If, during a period of 
4000 years, they have sunk thus low, what would the 
world become if left without Divine revelation, to grope 
in the mazes of heathen darkness ? But, degraded as 
the Bushmen really are, they can be kind, and hospit¬ 
able too ; faithful to their charge, grateful for favours, 
and susceptible of kindness. I speak from what I know, 
having seen all these qualities exemplified. It is also 
habitual with them, on receiving the smallest portion 
of food, to divide it with their friends ; and generally 
it is observed, the one who first received the boon 
retained the least for himself; and a hungry mother 
will not unfrequently give, what she may receive, to 
her emaciated children, without tasting it herself. In 
order to get the people to congregate, Mr. Kicherer 
found it necessary to give them daily a little food, 
and especially small portions of tobacco, with which 
he was most liberally supplied by the farmers. “ With¬ 
out that,” he says, “ it would have been impossible to 
bring these poor people to any means of instruction, 
as they are compelled continually to go from one 
place to another for food.” While, however, the mes¬ 
sage of Divine mercy at times made an impression so 
great, that the missionaries were led to sujipose that 
they had surmounted every difficulty, they were 
again humbled and grieved to see, as they expressed 
it, the natural inconstancy of the Bushmen reverse 
every promising sign. 



The Directors of the London Missionary Society, 
most anxious to impart to this degraded portion of 
the human family the means of grace, recommended 
the establishment of a station for that object at 
Toornberg, now Colesberg, south of the Great River ; 
and Mr. Erasmus Smith and Mr. Corner repaired 
thither in 1814, when about 500 Bushmen took up 
their abode with them. The missionaries were thus 
cheered by a people waiting to receive them ; but 
their joy was of short duration. A long and mortal 
enmity had existed between the Bushmen and the 
farmers ; and they soon began to suspect that the 
missionaries were employed only as instruments to 
betray them into their hands. Groundless as this 
suspicion was, it nevertheless so operated for a while 
as to damp the zeal of the missionaries. They very 
naturally expected that it would require a long and 
laborious coarse of culture and tuition before such 
pupils could be expected even to apprehend the doc¬ 
trines of Christianity. This, however, was not the 
case. The light and power of the Gospel at an early 
period of the mission, accompanied the proclamation 
of its glad tidings, and a number of these barbarous 
people, when they heard the word of life, believed. 
And here a Christian church arose, extensive gardens 
were laid out, and these cultivated with the Bush¬ 
men’s own hands. 

Another mission was commenced among that people 
at Hephzibah, where there was a prospect of perma¬ 
nent success. It was however found extremely difficult, 
from the Bushmen coming into unpleasant contact with 
the farmers in their vicinity, and the missionaries being 
brought into collision on their account. These evils, 
to which their locality exposed them, soon proved the 


MR. FAURE’s affecting STATEMENT. 

means of blasting their pleasing hopes among that 
people. An order was received from the Cape autho¬ 
rities, requiring the missionaries to retire within the 
Colony. Thus ceased the operations of the Society 
among the poor wild Bushmen at these stations ; and 
it is impossible to read the following extract of a letter 
to the Rev. Dr. Philip, from the Rev. A. Faure, then 
minister of Graaff Reinet, without deeply lamenting, 
with that enlightened individual, that these stations 
should have been broken up. “ Some of the Bush¬ 
men whom Mr. Smith baptized, had acquired very 
rational ideas of the principles of the Christian reli¬ 
gion ; and appeared to feel its constraining influence 
on their habitual conduct. They were zealous in try¬ 
ing to convey the same inestimable blessing to their 
unhappy countrymen, who live without God and with¬ 
out hope in the world. It was delightful to hear the 
children sing the praises of Jehovah, and to witness 
the progress they had made in spelling and reading. 
These facts, which have come under my own observa¬ 
tion, prove that the conversion of this race of im¬ 
mortal beings is not impossible.” 

The last effort of the Society to establish a mission 
among that people, was attempted in the vicinity of 
the Caledon River. Captain A. Kok, the late chief of 
Philippolis, most munificently presented the Bushmen 
who congregated at that place, with a good supply of 
cattle, sheep and goats. This mission, now called 
Bethulie, was afterwards transferred by Dr. Philip to 
the missionaries of the Paris Society; and it has since 
become a Bechuana mission, where tlie word of God 
has had free course, and been glorified. The prox¬ 
imity of the place to the gradual encroachments of 



those whom the Bushmen dreaded influenced them to 
leave the spot, so that now few remain, nor is it any 
longer a Bushman station. 

In taking a brief review of the Bushmen missions, 
we cannot help being struck with the depravity and 
ignorance of the people, the zeal and perseverance 
of the missionaries, the power of Gospel truth, and 
the dreadful guilt of those who have been directly 
the cause of frustrating the objects of the Missionary 
Society, which is the only one that has espoused the 
cause of that afflicted people. Shall not the Lord 
require it ? for the blood of thousands cries from the 
dust, and the cry has entered into the ears of the 
Lord of Sabaoth. Can we wonder that the Bushmen 
missions, under the circumstances in which they have 
been placed, should, upon the whole, prove a failure, 
though not without important results ? We must con¬ 
tinue to look for success in attracting the scattered 
fragments to the Missionary settlements, and forming 
out-stations among them, a method which has already 
received the Divine blessing. This plan has been 
carried on at our Griqua mission, from its com¬ 
mencement to the present day ; and those establish¬ 
ed in connexion with the Kat River are promising. 
This mode of proceeding with that people cannot 
be too strongly recommended to those who are la¬ 
bouring among their more powerful neighbours. 
When once a number of these are savingly con¬ 
verted to God, and feel the constraining influence 
of the love of Christ, they will become valuable auxi¬ 
liaries to the missionary, in collecting them around 

* For a more particular account of the Toornberg and Hephzibah 
missions, see Dr. Philip’s Researches in South Africa, vol. ii. p. 23 . 



their villages and cattle out-posts, and thus by kind 
endeavours, bring them within the benign and trans¬ 
forming influences of the Gospel of love. 

“ Kindness is the key to the human heart.” I 
know an individual who was struck with the diffi¬ 
culties the Bushwomen had in rearing their infants 
after the term of suckling, from the entire absence 
of any thing in the shape of milk or grain. Dried 
meat, or Ixia bulbs, is hard fare for a babe. He 
tried to persuade them to purchase goats, with ostrich 
feathers, or skins of game procured in the chase. At 
this proposal they laughed inordinately, asking him if 
ever their forefathers kept cattle ; intimating, that they 
were not intended to keep, but to eat, as their pro¬ 
genitors had always done. He recommended the 
plan to all who happened to come in his way, but 
with no better success. It at last occurred to his 
mind to present some of the principal individuals 
among them with a few goats a-piece. This he did, 
promising that, if they took good care of them for 
a given time, he would add to their number, and 
make them their own. This proposal, though to 
them scarcely to be believed, went to their hearts ; 
and the very looks of the men, and the grateful 
gesticulations of the women, were felt by the mis¬ 
sionary as a rich reward. His anticipations were fully 
realized. Thev allowed their little flocks to increase, 
and even took some trouble to make additions by 
barter; and it was no uncommon thing to see several 
of these resorting to the house of prayer on sabbath- 
days, though their homes were many miles distant. 

One of the accompanying sketches represents a 
Bushman and a woman. Tlie man has liis bows. 



quiver and poisoned arrows ; and both he and the 
female are fair specimens of the general appearance 
of that people. The other sketch exhibits a strata¬ 
gem, by which the Bushman approaches to game, 
in the garb of the ostrich. The method is ingenious, 
though extremely simple. A kind of flat double 
cushion is stuffed with straw, and formed something 
like a saddle. All, except the under part of this, is 
covered over with feathers attached to small pegs, 
and made so as to resemble the bird. The neck and 
head of an ostrich are stuffed, and a small rod intro¬ 
duced. The Bushman intending to attack game, 
whitens his legs with any substance he can procure. 
He places the feathered saddle on his shoulders, takes 
the bottom part of the neck in his right hand, and 
his bow and poisoned arrows in his left. Such as 
the writer has seen were the most perfect mimics 
of the ostrich, and at a few hundred yards’ distance it 
is not possible for the human eye to detect the fraud. 
This human bird appears to pick away at the verdure, 
turning the head as if keeping a sharp look-out, 
shakes his feathers, now walks, and then trots, till 
he gets within bow-shot; and when the flock runs, 
from one receiving an arrow, he runs too. The male 
ostriches will on some occasions give chase to the 
strange bird, when he tries to elude them, in a way 
to prevent their catching his scent; for when once 
they do, the spell is broken. Should one happen to 
get too near in pursuit, he has only to run to wind¬ 
ward, or throw off his saddle, to avoid a stroke from a 
wing, which would lay him prostrate. 



.foiri' fit 


Geographical position of Namaqna-lancI—When first visited by 
]\Iissionaries—Topography—Character and language of the inha¬ 
bitants—Influence of foreign intercourse—Privations of the first 
Missionaries—Their feelings —They cross the boundaries of the 
Colony— Cornelius Kok—Commencement of labours—First inter¬ 
view with Africaner—His ancestry—Oppressions—Revenge— 
The catastrophe—Africaner’s escape to the Orange River—War 
with the Berends—A testimony—Africaner attacks a banditti— 
His mode of warfare—His cattle stolen—He storms the assailants 
—Nicholas Berend. 

Great Namaqua-land, as it is usually called, lies 
north of the Orange River, on the western coast of 
Africa, hetween the 23° and 28° of south latitude; 
bounded on the north hv the Dainaras, and on the 
east hy an extensive sandy desert, called by Mr. 
Campbell the Southern Zara, or Zahara. 

In the month of January, 1806, the Orange, or 
Gariep River, was crossed by missionaries of the 
London Missionary Society, for the purpose of plant¬ 
ing the Gospel among the inhabitants of that wild 
and desolate region. Before entering into a detail 
of painful and pleasing events, which marked the 
whole course of the hold, self-denying, and dangerous 
enterprise of the two Albrechts and their associates, 
it will he proper briefly to sketch the character of 
the country, and the circumstances connected with 




the early efforts of these men of God, to sow the 
seeds of the everlasting Gospel in a most ungenial 

As an inhabited country, it is scarcely possible to 
conceive of one more destitute and miserable ; and 
it is impossible to traverse its extensive plains, its 
rugged, undulating surface, and to descend to the 
waterless beds of its rivers, without viewing it as 
emphatically “ a land of droughts,” bearing the heavy 
curse of 

“ Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit 
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste 
Brought death into the woidd, and all our woe.” 

Meeting with an individual, on my journey thither, 
who had spent years in that country, I asked what 
was its character and appearance. “ Sir,” he replied, 
“you will find plenty of sand and stones, a thinly 
scattered population, always suffering from want of 
water, on plains and hills roasted like a burnt loaf, 
under the scorching rays of a cloudless sun.” Of 
the truth of this description I soon had ample de¬ 
monstration. It is intersected by the Fish and ’Oup 
Rivers, with their numberless tributary streams, if 
such their dry and often glowing beds may be termed. 
Sometimes, for years together, they are not known 
to run; when, after the stagnant pools are dried 
up, the natives congregate to their beds, and dig 
holes, or wells, in some instances to the depth of 
twenty feet, from which they draw water, generally 
of a very inferior quality. They place branches of 
trees in the excavation, and, with great labour, under 
a hot sun, hand up the water in a wooden vessel. 



and pour it into an artificial trough ; to which the 
panting, lowing herds approach, partially to satiate 
their thirst. Thunder storms are eagerly anticipated, 
for hy these only rain falls; and frequently these 
storms will pass over with tremendous violence, 
striking the inhabitants with awe, while not a single 
drop of rain descends to cool and fructify the parched 

When the heavens do let down their watery trea¬ 
sures, it is generally on a partial strip of country, 
which the electric cloud has traversed; so that the 
traveller will frequently pass, almost instantaneously, 
from ground on w’hich there is not a blade of grass, 
into tracts of luxuriant green, sprung up after a 
passing storm. Fountains are indeed few and far 
between, the best very inconsiderable, frequently very 
salt, and some of them hot springs ; while the soil 
contiguous is generally so impregnated with saltpetre, 
as to crackle under the feet, like hoar-frost, and it 
is with great difficulty that any kind of vegetable 
can be made to grow. Much of the country is 
hard and stony, interspersed with plains of deep sand. 
There is much granite; and quartz is so abundantly 
scattered, reflecting such a glare of light from the 
rays of the sun, that the traveller, if exposed at 
noon-day, can scarcely allow his eyelids to be suffi¬ 
ciently open to enable him to keep the course he 
wishes to pursue. 

The inhabitants are a tribe or tribes of Hottentots, 
distinguished by all the singular characteristics of 
that nation, which includes Hottentots, Corannas, 
Namaquas, and Bushmen. Their peculiar clicking 
language is so similar, that it is with little difficulty 

F 2 



they converse with the two former. In their native 
state the aborigines, though deeply sunk in igno¬ 
rance, and disgusting in their manners and mien, 
were neither very warlike nor bloody in their dispo¬ 
sitions. The enervating influence of climate, and 
scanty sustenance, seem to have deprived them of 
that bold martial spirit which distinguishes the tribes 
who live in other parts of the interior, which, in 
comparison with Namaqua-land, may be said to 
“ flow with milk and honey.” With the exception 
of the solitary traveller, whose objects were entirely 
of a scientific character, those who ventured into 
the interior carried on a system of cupidity, and 
perpetrated deeds, calculated to make the worst im¬ 
pression upon the minds of the natives, and influence 
them to view white men and others descended from 
them as an “ angry” race of human beings, only 
fit to be classed with the lions, which roar for their 
prey in their native wilds. Intercourse with such 
visitors in the southern districts, and disgraceful acts 
of deceit and oppression committed by sailors from 
ships which visited Angra Piquena, and other 
places on the western coast, had, as may easily be 
conceived, the most baneful influence on the native 
tribes, and nurtured in their heathen minds (naturally 
suspicious) a savage disgust for all intercourse with 
white men, alas ! professedly Christian. Having 
little to talk about, when they met, these subjects 
became their general theme. Such was the long 
and deep-rooted impression made on their mindS;, 
as a people, that on one of the branches of the Fish 
Hiver, far east of Mr. Schmelen’s station at Bethany, 
when I asked a native why he had never visited the 


missionary station, his reply was, ‘‘ I have been taught 
from my infancy to look upon hat men (hat-wearers) 
as the robbers and murderers of the Namaquas. 
Our friends and parents have been robbed of their 
cattle, and shot by the hat-wearers.” Many run¬ 
aways, and characters reckless of law, abandoning the 
service of the farmers in the Colony, fled to Great 
Namaqua-land, and their influence went far in stirring 
up the native mind against all compromise on the 
part of their civilized neighbours. It was to such a 
people, and to such a country, that the missionaries 
directed their course, to lead a life, of the greatest 
self-denial and privation. 

From a variety of untoward circumstances, their 
experience on the journey from Cape Town to the 
place of their destination, seemed a precursor and 
preparation for future trials, and to them the journey 
must have formed a striking contrast to European 
travelling, and the endeared home of the friends 
they had left, never again to behold in the flesh. In 
their journal they detail numerous difliculties with 
which they had to contend in their progress. They 
had a weak and imperfect supply of oxen to draw 
their wagons, some fainting, and others incapable of 
being yoked. Their wagons stuck fast in the sand, 
then in the river. They were compelled to leave 
oxen behind, and they suffered excessively from thirst, 
as the water was scarce and nauseous. They were 
unable to obtain, from their poverty and the locality, 
a sufliciency of food to supply the calls of hunger. 
Their s])irits drooped, and though their courage did 
not fail, the following letter shows that they were 
alive to the nature of their situation. 



“ We had no prospect of being soon among the people, and 
could easily calculate that we should not have sufficient to last 
till we had an opportunity of purchasing for slaughter. The Lord 
brings us now into paths where we must by experience learn to 
pray, ‘ Give us this day our daily bread.’ We have not only to 
take care of our own provisions in the parched deserts, but also of 
those who conduct the wagons. Besides, the 36 rix-dollars (about 
3/.) we had remaining to carry us from the Rodesand, were almost 
expended, and we were still at a considerable distance from the 
Kamies Berg. To say nothing of the country of the Great Nama- 
quas, where we hope to find the place of our destination, it is 
very grievous for me and my brethren, that we are sent to make 
such a long journey, through the dreary parts of Africa, with so 
little money and provisions : we being altogether eleven in number, 
who cannot live upon the air. We acknowledge that through love 
we gave ourselves up to that service as well as other brethren; and 
we are also convinced that our worthy brethren, the Directors, 
would not suffer us first to stand in need, and then be willing to 
help us when there should be no opportunity, or when it might be 
too late to deliver us from trouble and danger. We were never in 
our lives so perplexed, to think what we should eat or drink, as we 
have reason to do at present; not only to our grief, but that also 
of our people in this dry sandy desert, where we are deprived of 
human assistance, but must rejoice when able to get just a drink of 
water, which is mostly brack or saltish. But all suffering we meet 
with in the journey or in the service of our Lord, we shall patiently 
bear for the sake of our Lord Jesus. Yet when we and our people 
suffer by famine, and we think the same might have been prevented 
—and who knows how long we must remain in this perilous situa¬ 
tion?—then it is very sorrowful for brethren, who have abandoned 
their livelihood, country, and friends, and have given themselves 
up to the service of our great Sender, the Lord Jesus, thus to 
endure. But we trust God will protect us, and will not let us come 
to shame.” 

These were only some of their trials, while yet 
within the boundary of the Colony, and at no great 
distance from the abodes of civilized men; as they 
drew near the sphere of their intended labours, their 


spirits revived, though their troubles and reasonable 
fears did not diminish ; for, having passed the boun¬ 
dary of the Colony, they add,—‘^In this place, which 
is called Bushman-countrv, there is as little water as 
there is grass to be found. One must hunger and 
thirst, and be in continual danger of being devoured 
by wild beasts, or murdered.” 

It is pleasing to see that, amidst these privations, 
their devotedness to the immortal interests of the 
heathen continued unwavering, even though they 
were fully satisfied that much suffering and distress 
of mind might have been prevented by some whose 
duty it was to direct and assist. 

“ Dear brethren,” they write, addressing the Directors,* “ we 
have gone through many difficulties, of which nobody can form an 
idea, who never has been in a dry and barren desert. We were not 
only separated from our friends, but could get no assistance from 
any human being. If we had not been able to believe that it was 
the wdll of the Lord for us to go to the Great Namaquas, w^e could 
not have gone through such great fatigue and labour. Neverthe¬ 
less, it w^as painful to us to observe that even those who are said to 
have assisted us, have made our journey so difficult by not pro¬ 
viding properly for us.” 

While in some of their greatest perplexities, Cor¬ 
nelius Kok, of Kamiesberg, with his son Adam, (late 
chief of Philippolis,) appeared to them like an angel 
of mercy, assisting, comforting, and directing them in 
their arduous enterprise. These trying times were 
rendered tenfold more so from their want of pecuniary 
resources, among a people suspicious of their real 

* It should be borne in mind, that at that time our missions w'ere 
principally under the management of the Directors of the South 
African Missionary Society — Dr. Vanderkemp and hlr. Kicherer. 



motives, themselves in poverty. Though permitted 
by an austere and mistaken government, as a favour, 
to exile themselves beyond the boundaries of the 
Colony, to instruct the aborigines in the Christian 
religion, they were forbidden to teach them to write, 
without special orders from the Cape authorities. 

On reaching the junction of the Hartebeast with 
the Orange River, they waited some time, till Chris¬ 
tian Albrecht, having pioneered to Great Namaqua- 
land, returned with encouraging prospects, and the 
whole party passed on to that country. Characteristic 
of the simplicity of their proceedings, they named the 
spot of their first temporary re&idence, Stille Hoop, 
(Silent Hope,) and the next Blyde Uitkomst, (Happy 
Deliverance.) Their Silent Hope, however, in that 
country, was long deferred; and, indeed, could scarcely 
be said to be fully realized, till their Happy Deliver¬ 
ance from a succession of disappointments, mortifi¬ 
cations, and hardships, which brought the Albrechts, 
and Mrs. C. A., formerly Miss Burgman, to a prema¬ 
ture grave. Soon after commencing their labours, 
their prospects were alternately bright and gloomy. 
Their proximity to Africaner, the notable robber, 
added not a little to their anxieties. Appearing before 
them on one occasion, he said, “ As you are sent by 
the English, I welcome you to the country ; for though 
I hate the Dutch, my former oppressors, I love the 
English; for 1 have always heard that they are the 
friends of the poor black man.” So early and so 
fully was this man, the terror of the country, im¬ 
pressed with the purity and sincerity of the missionary 
character, that, hearing that it was the intention of 
the Albrechts to remove to a more eligible situation. 



he came to the missionaries, (after having sent re¬ 
peated messages,) entreating them not to leave that 
part of the country, and testifying the pleasure he felt 
at seeing the progress his children had made under 
their instruction, promising to send the rest, which he 
did eventually, taking up his abode with them, and 
causing his people to do the same. 

Before proceeding with the painful record of events 
which followed in rapid succession, it may be proper 
here to glance briefly at Africaner’s history and cha¬ 
racter. In doing this, it will be well to fix the atten¬ 
tion on Jager, the eldest son of the old man, who, 
from his shrewdness and prowess, obtained the reins 
of the government of his tribe at an early age.* He 
and his father once roamed on their native hills and 
dales within 100 miles of Cape Town; pastured their 
own flocks, killed their own game, drank of their own 
streams, and mingled the music of their heathen songs 
with the winds which burst over the Witsemberg and 
Winterhoek mountains, once the strongholds of his 
clan. As the Dutch settlers increased, and found it 
necessary to make room for themselves, by adopting 
as their own the lands which lay beyond them, the 
Hottentots, the aborigines, perfectly incapable of 
maintaining their ground against these foreign intru¬ 
ders, were compelled to give place by removing to a 
distance, or yield themselves in passive obedience 
to the farmers. From time to time he found himself 
and his people becoming more remote from the land 

* The father of the large family of Africaners, or Jagers, had re¬ 
signed the hereditary right of chieftainship to his eldest son Jager, 
afterwards Christian Africaner ; the old man, who lived to a great 
age, being superannuated. 



of their forefathers, till he hecame united and subject 
to a farmer named P-. Here he and his dimin¬ 

ished clan lived for a number of years. In Africaner, 

P- found a faithful and an intrepid shepherd ; 

while his valour in defending and increasing the herds 
and flocks of his master enhanced his value, at the 
same time it rapidly matured the latent principle 
which afterwards recoiled on that devoted family, and 
carried devastation to whatever quarter he directed 
his steps. Had P-treated his subjects with com¬ 

mon humanity, not to say with gratitude, he might 
have died honourably, and prevented the catastrophe 
which befell the family, and the train of robbery, 
crime, and bloodshed which quickly followed that 
melancholy event. It can serve no good purpose here 
to detail the many provocations and oppressions which 
at length roused the apparently dormant energies 
of the often dejected chieftain, who saw his people 
dwindling to a mere handful; their wives and daugh¬ 
ters abused, their infants murdered, while he himself 
had to subsist on a coarse and scanty pittance, which, 
in the days of his independency he would have con¬ 
sidered as the crumbs of a table fit only for the poorest 
of the poor. Demonstrations too tangible to admit of 
a doubt, convinced him and his people, that in addi¬ 
tion to having their tenderest feelings trodden under 
foot, evil was intended against the whole party. They 
had been trained to the use of fire-arms ; to act not 
only on the defensive, hut offensive also ; and Africaner, 
who had been signally expert in re-capturing stolen 
cattle from the Bushmen pirates, now refused to com¬ 
ply with the command of the master, who was a kind 
of justice of peace. Order after order was sent down 



to the huts of Africaner and his people. They posi¬ 
tively refused. They had on the previous night re¬ 
ceived authentic information that it was a deep-laid 
scheme to get them to go to another farm, where 
some of the party were to be seized. Fired with in¬ 
dignation at the accumulated woes through which 
they had passed, a tempest was brooding in their 
bosoms. They had before signified their wish, with 
the farmer’s permission, to have some reward for their 
often galling servitude, and to be allowed peaceably to 
remove to some of the sequestered districts beyond, 
where they might live in peace. This desire had been 
sternly refused, and followed by severity still more 
grievous. It was even-tide, and the farmer, exasper¬ 
ated to find his commands disregarded, ordered them 
to appear at the door of his house. This was to them 
an awful moment; and though accustomed to scenes 
of barbarity, their hearts heat hard. It had not yet 
entered their minds to do violence to the farmer. 
Jager, with his brothers and some attendants, moved 
slowly up towards the door of the house. Titus, the 
next brother to the chief, dreading that the farmer in 
his wrath might have recourse to desperate measures, 
took his gun with him, which he easily concealed be¬ 
hind him, being night. When they reached the front 
of the house, and Jager, the chief, had gone up the 
few steps leading to the door, to state their complaints, 
the farmer rushed furiously on the chieftain, and with 
one blow precipitated him to the bottom of the steps. 
At this moment Titus drew from behind him his 

gun, and fired on P-, who staggered backward and 

fell. Tliey then entered the house : the wife, liaving 
witnessed the murder of her husband, slirieked, and 



implored mercy. They told her on no account to be 
alarmed, for they had nothing against her. They 
asked for the guns and ammunition which were in the 
house, which she promptly delivered to them. They 
then straitly charged her not to leave the house during 
the night, as they could not ensure her safety from 
others of the servants, who, if she and her family 
attempted to flee, might kill them. 

This admonition, however, was disregarded. Over¬ 
come with terror, two children escaped by a back 
door. These were slain by two Bushmen, who had 
long been looking out for an opportunity of revenging 

injuries they had suffered. Mrs. P- escaped in 

safety to the nearest farm. Africaner, with as little 
loss of time as possible, rallied the remnant of his 
tribe, and, wdth what they could take with them, 
directed their course to the Orange Biver, and were 
soon beyond the reach of pursuers, wdio, in a thinly 
scattered population, required time to collect. He 
fixed his abode on the banks of the Orange River; 
and afterwards, a chief ceding to him his dominion 
in Great Namaqua-land, it henceforth became his by 
right, as well as by conquest. 

Attempts were made on the part of the colonial 
government and the farmers, to punish this daring 
outrage on the P—— family; but though rew^ards 
were offered, and commandoes went out for that pur¬ 
pose, Africaner dared them to approach his territories. 
Some of the farmers had recourse to another strata¬ 
gem to rid the frontiers of such a terror; they 
bribed some of the Bastards, who were in the habit 
of visiting the Colon^q from the upjDer regions of the 
Orange River. This gave rise to a long series of 


severe, and sometimes bloody conflicts between the 
Africaners and the chief Berend and bis associates ; 
Berend being impelled by a twofold reward, and Afri¬ 
caner by a desire to wreak bis vengeance on the 
farmers, who were once his friends, the instigators 
of the deeply laid scheme. Though these two chiefs 
dreadfully harassed each other, neither conquered; 
but continued to breathe against each other the direst 
hatred, till, by the gospel of peace, they were brought 
to ‘‘ beat their swords into ploughshares, and their 
spears into pruning-hooks.” 

As soon as Africaner had discovered the origin of 
the plot which had well nigh overthrown his power, 
he visited the boundaries of the Colony. A farmer 
named Engelbrecht, and a Bastard Hottentot, fell 
victims to his fury, and their cattle and other property 
were carried off, to atone for the injuries inflicted by the 
machinations of the farmers. Africaner now became 
a terror, not only to the Colony on the south, but also 
to the tribes on the north. The original natives of 
the country justly viewed him as a dangerous neigh¬ 
bour, even though he had obtained, by lawful means, a 
})ortion in their country. They considered him as the 
common enemy. This led to pilfering and provoca¬ 
tions on their part; conduct which he was sure to pay 
back, in their own way, with large interest. The 
tribes fled at his approach. His name carried dismay 
even to the solitary wastes. At a subsequent period, 
as I was standing with a Narnaqua chief, looking at 
Africaner, in a supplicating attitude entreating parties 
ripe for a battle to live at peace with each other ; 
“ Look,” said the wondering chief, pointing to Afri¬ 
caner, “ there is the man, once the lion, at whose 



roar even the inhabitants of distant hamlets fled from 
their houses! Yes, and I” (patting his chest with 
his hand) “ have, for fear of his approach, fled with 
my people, our wives and our babes, to the mountain 
glen, or to the wilderness, and spent nights among 
beasts of prey, rather than gaze on the eyes of this 
lion, or hear his roar.” 

After the general aspect of affairs began to settle in 
that part of the country where Africaner’s head¬ 
quarters were, other distant and interior parts of the 
country became a theatre in which the inhabitants of 
the Colony were pursuing a bloody game, in shooting 
the aborigines, and carrying off their cattle. The 
landrost of one of the colonial districts sent a mes¬ 
sage to Africaner, requesting him to try and put a 
stop to these proceedings, and especially those of a 
farmer, who, with his Bastard attendants, had sconced 
themselves in a stronghold in the country. Africaner 
promptly obeyed the call, and as he did not intend to 
fight them, he went with some of his chief men on 
oxen, to recommend them peaceably to retire from the 
country in which they were such a scourge. On 
approaching the temporary dwellings of these free¬ 
booters, and within gun-shot, the farmer levelled his 
long roer at the small party, and several slugs enter¬ 
ing Africaner’s shoulder, instantly brought him to the 
ground. His companions immediately took up their 
arms, and the farmer, knowing that their shots were 
deadly, kept out of the way, allowing the wounded 
chief and his attendants to retire, which they did, and 
returned home brooding revenge. 

As soon as the slugs were extracted, and the wound 
partially healed, though the arm was lamed for life. 



Africaner, who was not a man to be frightened from his 
purpose, resumed his campaign ; and the result was, 
that this marauder, under a Christian name, was driven 
from his stronghold, and compelled to take refuge in 
the Colony whence he had come. The success which, 
in almost every instance, followed the arms of such a 
small and inconsiderable body of banditti as that of 
Africaner, maybe ascribed to his mode of warfare. He 
endeavoured always to attack his enemy on the plain ; 
or, if entrenched, or among bushes, the usual mode of 
fighting in the country, he instantly drove them from 
their sheltering-places ; where, if both parties were of 
the same mind, they would continue from day to day 
occasionally discharging their missiles, or firing a shot. 
By Africaner’s mode of warfare the conflict was soon 
decided. His reasons were these : he did not like sus¬ 
pense when life was at stake : he preferred to conquer 
a people before they had time to be alarmed, which 
saved them much agony of mind, and spared the un- 
necessarv effusion of blood. Africaner was a man of 


great prowess, and possessed a mind capable of study¬ 
ing the tactics of savage warfare. His brother Titus 
was, perhaps, still more fierce and fearless; and, though 
a little man, he was an extraordinary runner, and able 
to bear unparalleled fatigue. He has been known, 
single-handed, to overtake a party of twenty possessing 
fire-arms, and only retired when his musket was shot 
to pieces in his hand. On one occasion Berend’s party, 
who were far superior in numbers, headed by Nicholas 
Bereiid, unexpectedly carried off every ox and cow be¬ 
longing to Africaner, only a few calves being left in the 
stall. After a desperate though very unequal contest 
for a whole day, having repeatedly taken and lost their 
cattle, they returned home, slaughtered the calves 



which were left them, and rested a couple of days in 
order to dry the flesh in the sun, ready for the intended 
campaign. For several days they pursued their course 
along the northern banks of the Orange River, and 
having, by spies, found out the rendezvous of the enemy 
on the southern side of the river, they passed beyond 
them, in order to attack them from a quarter on which 
they fancied they were safe. They swam over in the 
dead of the night, with their ammunition and clothes 
tied on their heads, and their guns on their shoulders. 
The little force thus prepared, not unlike that of Bruce 
at Bannockburn, seized their opportunity, and, when 
all the enemy were slumbering in perfect security, 
aroused them by a volley of stones falling on their fra¬ 
gile huts. The inmates rushed out, and were received 
by a shower of arrows ; and before they could fairly 
recover their senses, and seize their guns, the discharge 
of musketry convinced them that they were besieged 
by a host encamped in the most favourable position: 
they consequently fled in the greatest consternation, 
leaving the captured cattle, as well as their own, in the 
hands of the Africaners. 

Nicholas Berend, to whom reference has been made, 
was brother to the chief Berend Berend, (afterwards 
of the Griqua mission, and now of the Wesleyan mis¬ 
sion among the Basuto,) and a very superior man both 
in appearance and intellect. I have frequently travelled 
with him, and many a dreary mile have we walked over 
the wilderness together. Having an excellent memory, 
and good descriptive powers, he has often beguiled the 
dreariness of the road by rehearsing deeds of valour in 
days of heathenism, in which this struggle with Afri¬ 
caner bore a prominent part, and on which he could 
not reflect without a sigh of sorrow. 



Among the remarkable interpositions of Divine 
Providence in saving his life from destruction, he 
more than once repeated the following, with much 
emphasis. It happened when he was engaged in a 
desperate conflict with Titus Africaner, from whose 
lips I had heard the same tale. The two had been 
engaged for hours in mutual strife, taking and re¬ 
taking a herd of cattle. By means of the large drove 
and bushes, each had managed to conceal himself. 
Suddenly a passage opening in the troop, which ex¬ 
posed the enraged combatants to each other’s view, 
their rifles were instantly levelled. The moment they 
touched the triggers, a cow darted in between, and 
the two balls lod 2 :ed in the centre of the animal, 
which fell dead on the spot. But for this interposi¬ 
tion, both would, in all probability, have fallen, as 
they were most expert marksmen. Titus, a man who 
could take his gun in the dead of night, enter an 
immense deep pool in the Orange River, swim to 
the centre, take his seat on a rock just above the 
surface of the water, and wait the approach of a hip¬ 
popotamus, which he would shoot just as it opened 
its monstrous jaws to seize him;—a man who would 
deliberately smile the moment he laid the lion dead at 
his feet. This man, who a])peared incapable of fear, 
and reckless of danger, could not help acknowledging 
having been powerfully struck with his escape from 
the ball of his antagonist, and would say to me when 
I referred to the fact, “Mynheer knows how to use 
the only hammer which make my hard heart feel.” 

Nicholas finished his Christian course under the 
pastoral care of the Rev. T. L. Hodgson, Wesleyan 
missionary at Boochuap. His end was peace. 



Missionaries settle at Warm Bath—The people of their charge— 
Africaner joins the mission—Death of A. Alhrecht—Pleasing 
prospects blasted—Murder of Hans Drayer—Painful dilemma— 
Trying alternative—A curious exhumation—Warm Bath de¬ 
stroyed—Hints to new missionaries—Death of Mrs. Albrecht— 
Light at even-tide. 

From the preceding description—though a mere 
glance at Africaner’s character, or like a single leaf 
from which a volume might be produced—it may be 
seen that it was a most desirable object for the mission¬ 
aries to make him and his people the centre of their 
labours; or otherwise to obtain a sphere sufficiently dis¬ 
tant to prevent any thing like collision between the 
people of their charge, and so formidable a neighbour. 
Humanly speaking, had the former plan been adopted, 
the evils which succeeded might have been prevented. 
The latter, for reasons obvious to the missionaries, was 
unfortunately chosen, and they removed to the Warm 
Bath, about 100 miles west of the neighbourhood of 

Taking up this place, as likely to become a perma¬ 
nent abode, they pitched their tent, though there was 
nothing lovely in its appearance, the neighbourhood 
being bare and sterile ; and the small portion of ground 
capable of being irrigated by the hot spring so salt, that 



little could be expected to grow. People and ivater 
were, however, the objects of the missionaries’ pursuit; 
and of all places they had seen or heard of, this was the 
most likely in which to congregate a tolerable, though 
at most a small, community. Here they resumed their 
labours of love, casting the heavenly seed in the hearts 
of their hearers. These were composed of a mixed 
multitude of Namaquas, and Bastards from the Colony, 
(called on that account Oorlams,) whom they, as well 
as other missionaries, found it difficult to manage. Ori¬ 
ginating in the Colony, proud of their superior know¬ 
ledge, and having a smattering of the Dutch language, 
they stood high in their own estimation, and despised 
the aborigines. This, in many instances, gave rise to 
dissension, discord, and war, so as even to overthrow 
the labours of the missionaries, and turn a thriving 
settlement into desolation. 

For a season the prospects of the brethren continued 
cheering, their labours being blessed. They were “in¬ 
stant in season and out of season ” to advance the tem¬ 
poral and spiritual interests of the natives, though la¬ 
bouring in a debilitating climate, and in want of the 
common necessaries of life. Their table, for a long 
time, the lid of a wagon-chest, was covered with the 
most scanty fare. One feels at a loss, while reading 
their journals and letters at this season, which most to 
admire, their zeal, their self-denial, or their resignation 
to a life of hardship. While labouring here, their con¬ 
gregation was increased even by that desperado Afri¬ 
caner, who, with part of Ins people, drew near, and 
attended occasionally the instructions of the mission¬ 
aries, who visited bis place in return. It was here, and 
at this time, that Jager, afterwards Christian Africaner, 



listened with attention to the first principles of the doc¬ 
trine of Christ; and it was to this period that he fre¬ 
quently referred in his communications with me, that 
he saw “ men as trees walking.” But this was only a 
transient glimpse ; for a degree of jealousy, and perhaps 
alarm, was excited in the minds of the inhabitants on 
the station, which influenced Africaner to retire to his 
wonted distance, with the full consent of the mission¬ 
aries, who, had it been in their power, would gladly 
have prevented the separation. Abraham Albrecht 
soon after married; but, ere long, he was compelled 
by ill health to leave the station, and proceed to the 
Colony, where he hoped that, by medical advice, and at¬ 
tention to regimen, his system might be restored. His 
frame was not naturally strong, and his constitution ill 
able to weather the hardships which had marked his 
short career. On the 14th of May, 1810, he took an 
affectionate and touching farewell of the flock at Warm 
Bath, and, accompanied by his brother Christian, left 
Mr. Tromp to carry on the work of the mission. 
After a journey, trying and tedious in the extreme to a 
sick man, he reached the hospitable mansion of Mr. 
and Mrs. Botma, the faithful and devoted friends of 
missionaries, at Honing Berg, near Tulbagh, where he 
finished his earthly course on the 30th of July. Shortly 
before he fell asleep in Jesus, he read a chapter, and 
conversed on its contents. To the inquiry how he felt, 
he replied, “ I go to Jesus; I am a member of his body.” 
The writer has stood by his grave with his widow (now 
Mrs. Ebner) who, pointing to it with much feeling, re¬ 
ferred to his tranquil passage into eternity, his deep 
anxiety for the heathen flock he had left, and the charge 
he gave his attendants, entreating them to “cleave unto 



the Lord.” Immediately after this event, Christian Al¬ 
brecht, who had proceeded to Cape Town, was married 
to Miss Burgman, a lady of superior education and 
promise, who had long burned with a holy zeal to en¬ 
counter the perils of the wilderness, to make known 
the savour of a Redeemer’s name among the perishing 
sons and daughters of Africa. For this purpose, as her 
biographer states, “ she cheerfully relinquished all the 
gratifications that a pleasing connexion with her pious 
and respectable friends at Rotterdam afforded, ready to 
encounter the privations and hardships which she fully 
expected.” Eminently qualified for her intended sta¬ 
tion, and fondly anticipating many successful years 
in the work which had so long been the cherished pur¬ 
pose of her soul, she left with her husband for the scene 
of her labours in Great Namaqua-land, taking with them 
the widow and child of their departed brother. On 
their arrival she entered on her long-anticipated labour 
with the utmost ardour ; but, alas ! a heavy cloud was 
gathering, which in a few months darkened their 
cheering prospects, and burst on the mission, which 
had just begun to bid fair for permanent success. 

An event so painful and destructive to the mission 
cause, requires that some notice be taken of its 
origin ; which I shall do nearly in the language of 
the late Rev. J. Campbell, in his tract, ‘‘The Life of 
Africaner,” with slight corrections and additions. 

“ Africaner being an outlaw, could not visit the Colony or Cape 
Town, and in order to procure supplies, employed others. lie en¬ 
trusted Hans Draycr with three teams of thirty oxen, commission¬ 
ing him to purchase a wagon for Africaner with the tw'enty, and 
with the remainiuiy ten to hrini? it home : and at the same time 
allowing an ample reward for Hans. He had not gone far into the 


ColoDy before he met a farmer to whom he owed a large debt, and 
who very naturally seized the whole. Hans returned chop-fallen 
to Seidenfaden’s missionary station at Kamiesberg, of which he had 
the charge during Mr. S.’s absence. Africaner hearing of what 
had happened, went in quest of Hans, whom he expected to find 
humble, but who was insolent to the last degree. On their punish¬ 
ing him with a shambock, he seized a gun, and levelled it at Afri¬ 
caner, but he was instantly despatched.” 

Mr. Seidenfaden having left debts behind him, 
among the Great Namaquas, and some of the Afri¬ 
caners, a portion of his property was seized. After 
this the friends of Hans, with the assistance of the 
Namaquas, sought revenge on the people of Afri¬ 
caner, but not succeeding, obtained assistance from 
the people of Warm Bath. This, with a false report 
that they had taken some of his cattle, and that the 
missionaries were their abettors, dreadfully enraged 
Africaner, who vowed vengeance on the mission. 

The situation of the missionaries and their wives 
was now most distressing. Among a feeble and timid 
people, with scarcely any means of defence, a bare 
country around, no mountain-glen or cave in which 
they could take refuge, a burning sun, and a glowing 
plain ; 200 miles from the abodes of civilized men, 
between which lay a waste, howling wilderness, and 
the Orange River, seldom fordable by wagons. Such 
was their position, with the human lion in his lair 
ready to rouse himself up to deeds of rapine and 
blood. This is no coloured picture, for the writer has 
with his family been placed in circumstances not 
dissimilar: experience is requisite to aid in just con¬ 
ceptions of so trying a moment. For a whole month 
they were in constant terror, hourly expecting the 



threatened attack. The hearts of the missionaries 
were riven with anguish ; their souls revolted at the 
idea of abandoning the people, who were now suffer¬ 
ing from want, to become a prey to one from whom 
they could expect no quarter. On one occasion they 
dug square holes in the ground, about six feet deep, 
that in case of an attack they might escape the halls; 
there they remained buried alive for the space of a 
week, having the tilt sail of a wagon thrown over 
the month of the pit, to keep off the burning rays of 
an almost vertical sun. As one of the sufferers told 
me, she scarcely knew whether they had to suffer most 
by day or by night, for the heat sometimes amounted 
nearly to suffocation. From this place they removed, 
at the suggestion of Fledermuis, a chief, northward 
to the base of the Karas mountains ; hut finding it 
impossible to settle, they retired to the Colony to seek 
counsel and assistance. 

But to return to Africaner. He spread devastation 
around him, attacked the Namaquas, and proceeded 
to Warm Bath. Finding it abandoned, his followers 
commenced a rigid search for any articles which 
might have been concealed for safety in the earth, 
and were but too successful. While the plunderers 
were engaged in their destructive operations, an inci¬ 
dent occurred, almost too ludicrous for so melancholy 
a recital. As the triumphant chief and his adherents 
were revelling in their ill-gotten spoils, not without 
some qualms of conscience, derived from the light, 
however little, which they had received, especially 
as they now stood upon holy ground, which recalled 
the scenes of hy-gone days, one of the chieftain’s 
attendants strayed into the burying-ground, where 



already a few mounds distinguished it from the 
surrounding waste as the place of the dead. Stepping 
over what he supposed a newly closed grave, he 
heard, to his surprise, soft notes of music vibrate 
beneath. He stood motionless, gazing over his 
shoulder, with mouth and eyes dilated, hesitating 
whether to stand still, and see the dead arise, which 
he had heard the missionaries preach about, or take 
to his heels. After no little palpitation of heart, in 
order to assure himself, he mustered courage to make 
another trial, for the tones he had heard had died 
away. His second leap again roused the sepulchral 
harp, which now fell in soft but awful cadence on 
his ear. Without casting an eye behind, he darted 
off to the camp, and, with breathless amazement, 
announced to Africaner the startling discovery he 
had made of life and music in the grave. The ap¬ 
pearance of the man convinced Africaner that he was 
in earnest, for reason seldom reels in that country. 
The chief, fearless of the living or the dead, was not 
to be scared even by the supposed spectre of the 
tomb, arose, and ordered his men to follow him to the 
spot. One jumped, and another jumped, and at each 
succeeding leap, succeeding notes of the softest music 
vibrated on the ear from beneath. Recourse was had 
instantly to exhumation. The mysterious musician 
was soon brought to light. It proved to be Mrs. 
Albrecht’s piano-forte, which she had taken with her 

from London, and which was the first ever conveyed 


into the Transgariepine regions. Being too cumbrous 
to be taken in a hasty flight, it had been buried in 
a soil where, from the entire absence of moisture, 
it might, but for this circumstance, have remained 



unscathed. Africaner, whose martial spirit made him 
a fitter associate for Mars than for the Muses, allowed 
the instrument to be dissected, parts of which I have 
seen, from which those fingers now silent in the grave 
had called forth divine harmony. 

To finish the varied hut sorrowful detail, one of the 
men of Africaner, on seeing him depart, took a fire¬ 
brand, and set fire to the houses and huts, which 
were soon reduced to ashes, and thus the light of 
Divine truth, which had just been enkindled in those 
gloomy regions, was extinguished for a season, and 
a peaceful Zion reduced to a heap of ruins. I have 
walked over them in pensive sorrow, and slumbered 
among them, when the owl only, with its melancholy 
note, broke the death-like silence which reigned, or 
the gaunt hyena howled in quest of prey. It might 
be profitable to improve this event, by tracing to 
their source the succession of evils which befell that 
mission. It might afford instructive lessons to those 
who may be similarly situated. It is, however, not 
my object to preach, but faithfully to narrate past 
events ; leaving my readers, especially such as have 
entered into the labours of others, of whose sufferings 
it is scarcely possible for them to form an adequate 
conception, to make the improvement. I have known 
a newly arrived missionary listen to the apparently 
romantic tale of a veteran of the above order, with 
the conviction, that the exaggerated picture he drew 
of past trials must have been the effect of an intellect 
partially weakened. It is impossible to take a minute 

survey of the lives and labours of some of our miS' 

sionaries, whose names have become, like their voices, 
silent in death, without concluding that “there were 



giants in those days/’ like Christian Alhrecht; a 
glance at whose concluding days, and those of his 
beloved partner, must close the present chapter. 

Driven by necessity, as we have previously shown, 
to the Colony, a visit to Cape Town cheered their 
drooping spirits a little, though still feeling the effects 
of previous suffering ; for Mrs. A. writes, just on 
the eve of again returning, in December 1811, ad¬ 
dressing the Directors, Yes, dear brethren, we have 
suffered much in every respect, and my soul and 
body are very much dejected.” After a most dis¬ 
tressing journey, sometimes under apprehension of 
perishing in the wilderness, they reached Silver Foun¬ 
tain, the residence of Cornelius Kok, who again 
rendered signal service to the weary, worn-out tra¬ 
vellers. Here Mrs. Albrecht breathed her last, on 
the 13th of April, just five days after their arrival; 
and when she anticipated some repose, she was re¬ 
moved to an eternal rest; to the last her heart was 
fixed on her Master’s work. The Namaqua mission 
was resumed at Pella, south of the river, which was 
so called from its becoming the place of refuge; 
there they were joined by about 500 of the Warm 
Bath people. Mr. C. Albrecht having occasion 
again to go to the Cape for medical advice, as his 
health had been for some time declining, while 
there engaged in his Master’s business, suddenly 
expired, leaving behind him a bright testimony of 
zeal, love, and self-denial seldom equalled. His labours 
follow him, while his remains slumber beside those 
of Dr. Vanderkemp, on a foreign shore, waiting the 
sound of the last trump. But before he was called, 
like a faithful servant, to the “joy of his Lord,” a 



delightful realization of the faithfulness and mercy 
of Jehovah was permitted to enlighten and cheer his 
latter days. Many and fervent were the prayers 
which he and his coadjutors had offered up to the 
throne of God for the poor Namaquas, and for Afri¬ 
caner too. These prayers were heard; and before 
leaving the country, he had the ineffable joy, which 
it would require an angel’s tongue to describe, of 
making peace with Africaner, and seeing the standard 
of the Prince of Peace reared in the very village 
of the man who once “breathed out threatenings and 
slaughter ” against not only his fellow heathen^ but 
against the saints of the Most High. 


The Rev. J. Campbell writes to Africaner — Mr. Ebner sent to the 
mission—Journey to Namaqua-land—Views of young travellers —- 
No choice—Driving loose cattle—Awkward circumstances—The 
lost sbeep—Swollen river—Leave Bysondermeid—A desert 
scene—“Oxen run away — Mr. Bartlett arrives — Arrive at Pella — 
Cross the Orange River — A vigorous contest. 

The Rev. J. Campbell, in his first visit to Africa, 
to which reference has been made, found it necessary 
to cross the interior of the continent to Namaqua-land. 
During his journey, he found in every village through 
which he passed, the terror of Africaner’s name, and, 
as Mr. C. expresses it, “a trembling, lest he should 
pay them a visit and he might have added, what 
he has often since done with the voice, “that he 
and his retinue never were so afraid in their lives.” 
On reaching Pella, he wrote a conciliatory letter to 
Africaner ; and leaving it to be forwarded, pursued 
his journey to the Colony. Mr. Sass undertook to 
convey this important document ; but after searching 
for Africaner for some time, he was compelled, by 
thirst and hunger, to relinquish his object, committing 
the letter to one well acquainted with Africaner, and 
in whom he could confide. On his return, Mr. S. 
and his attendants had nearly perished from thirst; 
they came to a hole in a rock where there was water, 
and into which a large hyena havung forced itself, 
had been drowned : the stench was horrible, and in 



attempting to draw the now putrid carcass out, it 
went to pieces in their hands. But thirst will compel 
a man to do what would scarcely he credited in 


England ; they drank, though the beasts of burden, 
panting for want of water, would not taste of the 
almost putrid draught. To this letter Africaner sent 
a favourable reply, and C. Albrecht lost no time in 
accomplishing what he had so long desired; and soon 
after Mr. Ebner was sent from Pella. 

I now enter into the history of that part of the 
Namaqua mission which requires a delicate hand to 
touch, and which cannot he done without violence 
to my own feelings. But it is impossible for me to 
avoid reference to certain points which illustrate 
subsequent events. The station now occupied by 
Mr. Ebner was a most important one, on which great 
responsibilities lay, and from which results of the 
highest importance might accrue to Namaqua-land. 
Mr. Elmer’s labours were blessed, though he was not 
what Mr. Albrecht desired, nor the man Mr. Camp¬ 
bell would have sent; but labourers were few. It 
required no little circumspection, acuteness, and de¬ 
cision, to gain influence and esteem from a people 
who had been guilty of such enormities, and whose 
hand had been against every one. Every action and 
sentence of the missionary was weighed by minds 
accustomed to scrutinize and suspect. In the course 
of a short time, Africaner, his two brothers, David 
and Jacobus, with a number of others, were baptized ; 
hut soon after, Mr. Ehner’s situation was rendered 
extremely trying, by the interference of a runaway 
from the Cape, named Peterson, who went so far as 
to threaten to take Mr. E.’s property, and even liis 



life, if he resisted; while, to the grief of the latter, 
it was evident that Africaner connived at the menaces 
of this individual, whom he had power to control with 
a word. 

In 1817, Mr. Ebner visited Cape Town for supplies, 
where the writer first hailed him with delight, as his 
companion and guide in his future labours, upon 
which he was now entering. As my course, with that 
of Mr. Kitchingman, who was appointed to Bysonder- 
meid, in Little Namaqua-land, lay to that place, in 
order to see Mr. Schmelen, we did not travel much 
together, Mr. Ebner having to take another route. It 
was evident to me, as I approached the boundaries of 
the Colony, that the farmers, who, of course, had not 
one good word to say of Africaner, were sceptical 
to the last degree about his reported conversion, 
and most unceremoniously predicted my destruction. 
One said he would set me up for a mark for his boys 
to shoot at; and another, that he would strip off my 
skin, and make a drum of it to dance to ; another 
most consoling prediction was, that he would make a 
drinking cup of my skull. I believe they were seri¬ 
ous, and especially a kind motherly lady, who, wiping 
the tear from her eye, bade me farewell, saying, “ Had 
you been an old man, it would have been nothing, for 
you would soon have died, whether or no; but you 
are young, and going to become a prey to that 

A hasty sketch of our journey to Bysondermeid, may 
not be unacceptable to some of my readers, who may 
be little acquainted with Africa. Raw travellers in that 
country generally have to learn much by experience, 
and that sometimes dear-bought, the mode of convey- 



ance being so entirely different from that of Europe. 
The first thing, the wagon, in his estimation, is an awk¬ 
ward, heavy vehicle ; and though he never in his life 
was in a wheelwright’s shop, he pronounces it clumsy, 
and capable of immense improvement; hut, like all his 
predecessors, eventually confesses that its size, and 
mechanism, are inimitably adapted to the ravines 
and rocky ascents over which it must pass. Accus¬ 
tomed to a horse, though not railroad speed, he is 
wearied out of patience with the slow and measured 
paces of the oxen, going at two and a half miles an 
hour, and only seven or eight hours each day. The 
untractable disposition of some, and the apparently 
awkward harness of ten or twelve oxen before the 
wagon, produce something like disgust. I remem¬ 
ber one newly arrived, a tailor by trade, remarking as 
he looked on a graceful African team, “ How barba¬ 
rous the people must be not to be able to harness 
their oxen better; any one would improve it.” He 
has not done it yet. He then finds fault with the 
peo})le, and thinks himself very patient, because he 
does not scold them hard, or disband them altogether. 
The people not understanding his broken language, 
and he knowing but little of theirs, preclude him 
from having things done as he would. His oxen 
stray ; one man is tardy, another laz^g and a third runs 
away, and probably relieves him of a trifle of his heavy 
load, which had brought.him to a halt in the bed of a 
river, or on the side of a hleak mountain. He pro¬ 
nounces, or is ready to pronounce, African servants as 
lazv, disobedient, dishonest, and, in fact, lihels them 
and dhose under whom they have been instructed. 
]\lr. Kitcliingman and myself were spared many of 



these hard lessons, having been located with kind 
and hospitable farmers, some months before com¬ 
mencing our journey; but we had our trials, though 
not, like some of our predecessors, in the gipsy life of 
an African traveller. We obtained men to drive the 
wagons, and men to lead the team of oxen, for each 
team requires a driver and a leader; and as it is 
necessary, for contingencies, to have a number of 
loose or spare oxen, and sometimes sheep for slaugh¬ 
ter, and occasionally a horse, an individual or two are 
required to bring them up in the rear. Servants being 
very scarce at the time we travelled, it was with great 
difficulty we procured a loose cattle driver ; one we 
obtained, hut, on getting a portion of his reward in 
advance, he decamped. Mr. K. and I undertook to 
do the work ourselves, and from the extreme heat of 
the season, (November,) it was necessary to travel most 
during the night. We took the work alternately, for 
Mrs. Kitchingman being in a very delicate state of 
health, and near a period of maternal solicitude, it was 
necessary that one should constantly attend to support 
her, under the almost constant jolting of the wagon, 
without springs, on a rough and stony road. The 
task of driving the loose cattle was not an easy one, 
for frequently the oxen would take one course, the 
sheep another, and the horses a third. It required no 
little perseverance as well as courage, when sometimes 
the hyena would approach with his unearthly howl, 
and set the poor timid sheep to their heels ; and the 
missionary, dreading the loss of his mutton, in his 
haste, gets his legs lacerated by one bush, and his face 
scratched by another, now tumbles prostrate ovei' an 
ant-hill, and then headlong into the large hole of a 



\v’ild boar. He frequently arrives at the halting place 
long after the wagons, when the keen eye of the 
native wagon driver surveys the cattle, and announces 
to the breathless and thirsty missionary, that he has 
lost some of his charge. He sits down by the fire, 
which is always behind a bush, if such is to be found, 
tells his exploits, looks at his wounds, and so ends his 
day’s labours with a sound sleep. Next morning he 
gets up early to seek the strayed, and if it happen to 
be a sheep, he is almost sure to find only the bones, 
the hyena having made a repast on the rest. Once 
our little flock of sheep was reduced to one, and one 
sheep will not easily travel alone, but soon becomes 
very tame, so as to walk about like one of the dogs ; 
indeed, ours became so very sociable, that we loved it, 
and tried hard to spare its life. It generally travelled 
with a long leathern thong tied round its neck, with 
which it was fastened during the night. However, 
having fasted long from animal food, being unable to 
2 :)rocure game, sentence was passed, and the pet sheep 
was to die next morning; but it so happened that the 
near aj)proach of a hyena frightened away the sheep, 
and being dark, the country bushy and mountainous, 
pursuit was out of the question. Early next morning 
JMr. K. and I followed the track, which showed us 
that the hyena had pursued it to the mountains, to 
which such animals instinctively resort. After a long 
and wearisome search, we discovered our lost sheep 
near tlie top of the rugged elevation. It had still, 
as the natives express it, de schrik in de lyfe, (the 
terror in the body,) and fled at our approach ; some¬ 
times when we, after great labour, got within a step 
of tl le tlioiur, awav it bounded, till it ascended clifls 




beyond our reach. It was most mortifying to us to 
leave such a feast to the panthers, hut not having 
a gun with us, and seeing some foot-marks of these 
dangerous animals, we slowly returned to the wagons, 
where all were anticipating a mutton chop, and the 
only compliment paid to our exertions was, that we 
had managed very badly. 

We had troubles of another kind, and such as we 
did not expect in so dry and thirsty a land. Kain had 
fallen some time previous in the neighbourhood of 
Kamies Berg: the loose soil, abounding in limy par¬ 
ticles, had become so saturated, that frequently, as 
the oxen and wagons went along the road, they would 
suddenly sink into a mire, from which they were 
extricated with difficulty, being obliged to unload the 
wagons and drag them out backwards. One river was 
so swollen and rapid, that Mrs. K, preferred being 
carried over to going in the wagon. Being rather 
more robust than Mr. K., this duty devolved on me, 
and it was not an easy one, as the stones in the river 
were as slippery as butter, and the whole party stand¬ 
ing on the bank, all in a titter, expecting every 
moment that we should hoth have a plunge, which, 
though not unattended with danger, excited the risible 
faculties in no ordinary degree. 

It was at Bysondermeid that I saw, for the first time, 
what might strictly be called a real native congregation, 
consisting of the aborigines of the country; and I shall 
never forget what were my emotions when listening to 
Mr. Schmelen, in his energetic style, addressing the 
attentive throng, and observing what attention they 
paid to the broken Dutch of the missionary recruits. 
This was to be the scene of Mr. Kitchingman’s labours. 



while IVIr. Sclimelen was to proceed to the interior of 
Great Namaqua-land, where he had before laboured. 

I remained nearly a month with Mr. Sclimelen at 
]3ysondermeid. His long experience afforded me much 
useful information. My oxen being somewhat rested, 
I bade farewell to my companions in travel, Mr. and 
Mrs. Kitchingman, now greatly endeared,and proceeded 
with a guide through a comparatively trackless desert. 
Having travelled nearly the whole night through deep 
sand, the oxen began to lie down in the yoke from 
fatigue, obliging us to halt before reaching water. The 
next day we pursued our course, and on arriving at the 
place where we had hoped to find water, we were dis¬ 
appointed. As it appeared evident that if we continued 
the same route we must perish from thirst, at the sug¬ 
gestion of my guide we turned northward, over a dreary, 
trackless, sandy waste, without one green blade of grass, 
and scarcely a bush on which the wearied eye could 
rest. Becoming dark, the oxen unable to proceed, our¬ 
selves exhausted with dreadful thirst and fatigue, we 
stretched our wearied limbs on sand still warm from 
the noon-tide heat, being the hot season of the year. 
Thirst aroused us at an early hour; and finding the 
oxen incapable of moving the w^agon one inch, we took 
a spade, and, with the oxen, proceeded to a hollow in 
a neighbouring mountain. Here we laboured for a 
long time, digging an immense hole in the sand, whence 
we obtained a scanty supply, exactly resembling the 
old bilge-water of a ship, but winch was drunk with 
an avidity which no pen can describe. Hours were 
occupied in incessant labour to obtain a sufficiency for 
the oxen, which, by the time all had partaken, were 
ready for a second draught ; while some, from the 



depth of the hole and the loose sand, got scarcely any. 
We filled the small vessels which we had brought, and 
returned to the wagon over a plain glowing with a 
meridian sun ; the sand being so hot, it was distress¬ 
ingly painful to walk. The oxen ran frantic, till they 
came to a place indurated, with little sand. Here 
they stood together, to cool their burning hoofs in the 
shade of their own bodies; those on the outside always 
trying to get into the centre. In the evening, when 
about to yoke them in order to proceed on our jour¬ 
ney, we found that most of the oxen had run off 
towards Bysondermeid. An attendant, who was de¬ 
spatched in search of them, returned at midnight with 
the sad tidings that he was compelled by thirst, and 
terror of meeting with lions, to abandon his pursuit. 

No time was to be lost, and I instantly sent off the 
remaining oxen with two men, to take them to the next 
fountain, and then proceed to solicit assistance from 
Mr. Bartlett, at Pella. Three days I remained with my 
wagon-driver on this burning plain, with scarcely a 
breath of wind ; and what there was felt as if coming 
from the mouth of an oven. We had only tufts of dry 
grass to make a small fire, or rather flame; and little 
was needful, for we had scarcely any food to prepare. 
We saw no human being, although we had an extensive 
prospect; not a single antelope or beast of prey made 
its appearance; but in the dead of the night we some¬ 
times heard the distant roar of the lion on the moun¬ 
tain, where we had to go twice a day for our nauseous 
but grateful beverage. At last, when we were begin¬ 
ning to fear that the men had either perished or wan¬ 
dered, Mr. Bartlett arrived on horseback, with two men 
having a quantity of mutton tied to their saddles. I 



cannot conceive of an epicure gazing on a table groan¬ 
ing under the weight of viands, with half the delight 
that I did on the mutton, which, though killed only the 
preceding evening, required no keeping to make it ten¬ 
der. Oxen had been sent for, which were to arrive in 
two days. This time was spent in mutually refreshing 
intercourse ; but Mr. B., although inured to Namaqua 
heat, remarked, that what we experienced was enough 
to set the grass on fire. 

Fresh oxen, accustomed to deep sand, soon brought 
us to Pella. Here I remained a few days, and was 
greatly invigorated in body and mind by the truly Chris¬ 
tian kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett, as well as by 
the friendly attentions of the heathen converts. When 
about to depart, Magerman, the native teacher of Warm 
Bath, arrived with oxen, for the purpose of conveying 
me thither. Hence, a contention, if such it maybe called, 
ensued, my destination being Africaner’s kraal, where 
they were awaiting my arrival, having been apprized of 
my coming by Mr. Ehner, who had returned there about 
six weeks previous. At last Magerman consented to 
take me to the other side of the river; and the good 
man, hoping to gain his point, conducted me to a ford, 
opposite which a village of his people lay, who he ex¬ 
pected would take me by force. The wagon and its 
contents were swam over piecemeal, on a fragile raft 
of dry willow logs, about six feet long, and from four to 
six inches in diameter, fastened together with the inner 
hark of the mimosas, which stud the hanks of the river, 
which is at this ])lace 500 yards wide, rocky, with a 
rapid current. The rafts are carried a great distance 
down by the stream, taken to pieces every time ot 
crossing, each man swimming hack with a log. 



When, after some days’ labour, all was conveyed to 
the opposite shore, the last raft was prepared for me, 
on which I was requested to place myself, and hold fast. 
I confess^ though a swimmer, I did not like the voyage, 
independently of not wishing to give them the trouble of 
another laborious crossing. I withdrew along the woody 
bank, and plunged into the river, leaving my clothes to 
be conveyed over. As soon as they saw me approach¬ 
ing the middle of the current, terrified lest evil should 
befall me, some of the most expert swimmers plunged 
in, and laboured hard to overtake me, but in vain ; and 
when I reached the northern bank, an individual came 
up to me, almost out of breath, and asked, Were you 
born in the great sea water?” 

The wagon and contents being removed beyond the 
reach of a flood, which sometimes comes down with 
little warning, an affecting scene presented itself, which 
perfectly overcame my feelings. Magerman and his 
people beset my wagon, reasoning, pleading, and pray¬ 
ing that I might go to Warm Bath. The following day 
the subject was renewed with such earnestness, that it 
was afternoon before I tasted a mouthful of food. At 
last the women came like a regiment, and declared that 
if I left them, I must take the wagon over their bodies, 
for they would lie down before the wheels. It was in 
vain I pleaded my destination, and the necessity of pro¬ 
ceeding first to Africaner, to fulfil the promise of the 
Directors. At last a party of Africaner’s people, with 
three of his brothers, were seen approaching in the dis¬ 
tance. This ended the painful conflict; for, awed by 
their presence, they withdrew, with many tears. 


The author arrives at Africaner’s kraal — Expeditious building — 
Comforts of a native house—Reflections—Perplexing circum¬ 
stances—Titus Africaner—Mr. Ebner leaves—Disposition of the 
people—Prospects brighten—Africaner’s thirst for knowledge— 
Titus becomes friendly—Quarrelling wives—Africaner and civi¬ 
lization—His benevolence—His pacific efforts—The author’s 
illness—David and Jacobus Africaner—A thunder-storm—Dying 

On the 26tli of January, 1818, I arrived, with emo¬ 
tions of the deepest gratitude to God, at Africaner’s 
kraal, (afterwards called, by Mr. Ebner, Vreede Berg, 
and then Jerusalem,) being kindly received by Mr. E. 
Africaner’s brother, who had charge of my wagon, took 
it to a large tree in the village, at some hundred yards’ 
distance from the temporary hut of Mr. Ebner. This 
I did not like, but knew that sometimes it was wiser 
to be silent than to speak. Appearances were not 
so inviting as I had hoped to find them ; and Christian 
Africaner, the chief., was some time before he came to 
welcome me. I was not aware of any unpleasant feel¬ 
ing existing between the missionary and the people, 
although I was startled, before I left the Colony, to 
hear Mr. Ebner describe them as a wicked, suspicious, 
and dangerous people, baptized as well as unbaptized. 

After remaining an hour or more in this situation. 


ARRIVE AT Africaner’s kraal. 

Christian Africaner made his appearance; and after 
the usual salutation, inquired if I was the missionary 
appointed by the Directors in London ; to which I re¬ 
plied in the affirmative. This seemed to afford him 
much pleasure ; and he added, that as I was young, 
he hoped that I should live long with him and his 
people. He then ordered a number of women to 
come; I was rather puzzled to know what he in¬ 
tended by sending for women, till they arrived^ bear¬ 
ing bundles of native mats and long sticks, like fish¬ 
ing-rods. Africaner pointing to a spot of ground, 
said, There, you must build a house for the mission¬ 

ary.” A circle was instantly formed, and the women, 
evidently delighted with the job^ fixed the poles, tied 
them down in an hemispheric form, and covered 
them with the mats, all ready for habitation, in the 
course of little more than half-an-hour. Since that 
time I have seen houses built of all descriptions, and 
assisted in the construction of a good many myself; 
but I confess I never witnessed such expedition. Hot¬ 
tentot houses, (for such they may be called, being 
confined to the different tribes of that nation,) are at 
best not very comfortable. I lived near six months 
in this native hut, which very frequently required 
tightening and fastening after a storm. When the sun 



shone, it was unbearably hot ; when the rain fell I 
came in for a share of it ; when the wind blew, I bad 
frequently to decamp to escape the dust; and in addi¬ 
tion to these little inconveniences, any hungry cur of 
a dog that wished a night’s lodging, would force itself 
through the frail wall, and not unfrequently deprive 
me of my anticipated meal for the coming day; and 
I have more than once found a serpent coiled up 
in a corner. Nor were these all the contingencies of 
such a dwelling, for as the cattle belonging to the 
village had no fold, but strolled about, I have been 
compelled to start up from a sound sleep, and try to 
defend myself and my dwelling from being crushed to 
pieces by the rage of two bulls which had met to fight 
a nocturnal duel. 

But to return to my new habitation, in which, after 
my household matters were arranged, I began to ru¬ 
minate on the past—the home and friends I had left, 
perhaps, for ever ; the mighty ocean which rolled 
between the desert country through which I had 
passed, to reach one still more dreary. In taking a 
review of the past, which seemed to increase in bright¬ 
ness as I traced all the way in which I had been 
brought, during the stillness of my first night’s repose, 
I often involuntarily said and sung, 

“ Here I raise my Ebenezer, 

Hither by thy help I’m come.” 

The inimitable hymn from which these lines are 
taken, was often sung by Mr. and Mrs. Kitchingman 
and myself, while passing through the lonely desert. 
But my mind was frequently occupied with other 
themes. I was young, had entered into a new and 
responsible situation, and one surrounded with diffi¬ 
culties of no ordinary character. Already I began to 



discover some indications of an approaching storm, 
which might try my faith. The future looked dark 
and portentous in reference to the mission. My inex¬ 
perienced hand trembled to touch a single chord, lest 
it should vibrate in sounds still more discordant than 
those which fell on my ear the preceding day ; but the 
sure word of promise was my stay, and I was enabled 
to adopt the language of one of old, “ In the multi¬ 
tude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight 
my soul.” What I had contemplated was but too 
soon realized. The general aspect of affairs was to me 
any thing but cheering. Christian Africaner seemed 
cool and reserved ; and on Titus Africaner, his brother, 
coming to the station, a scene ensued which made me 
tremble for the ark of God. Titus, whom I had not 
previously seen, was an inveterate enemy of mission¬ 
aries ; he, with others, came and stood before the 
native house of Mr. Ebner, loading him with the most 
abusive epithets, and, in the most opprobrious lan¬ 
guage, ordered him to leave, threatening to lay violent 
hands on him. The whole of the people on the 
station were gazing on this scene, to me distressing in 
the extreme. Dreading some fearful consequences, I 
begged an interview with the chief, Christian Africaner, 
which I soon obtained, and entreated him, as a Chris¬ 
tian brother, to use his influence to put a stop to pro¬ 
ceedings so disorderly and disgraceful on the part of 
his relative. The chief, however, showed the greatest 
aversion to take any part in the business, and I could 
only obtain his promise to prevent Titus from assault¬ 
ing the person of Mr. Ebner. I then went to Mr. E., 
to induce him to desist from disputing with a man 
in a rage, who was threatening him with death. I 
addressed Titus, begging him to refer the case to the 



chief, to which, in a calm tone of voice, he replied, 
“ I hope you will not interfere.’’ Though I could not 
understand the merits of the case, I sat down at the 
door of Mr. Ebner’s hut, determined that if any blows 
were given, I would at least come in for a share, for 
the sake of the wife and children. Towards evenins: 


a calm ensued, but it was a gloomy one, especially 
when Mr. E. came to me, and begged of me to take 
upon myself the entire charge of the station, as he 
had resolved never more to address them, but to leave 
the country entirely. Perceiving him greatly excited 
against the whole people, I earnestly entreated him to 
wait and deliberate on the subject calmly. A day or two 
passed, and though to Mr. E.’s great relief I obtained 
a kind of promise from Titus that he would not mo¬ 
lest him again, his determination to depart was unal¬ 
terable. I shall never forget what were my feelings 
when, at Mr. E.’s request, I had to go among the 
people, and beg of some who were able to assist him 
to remove with his wagon and goods to Warm Bath, 
whither he had received an invitation from the chief 
Bondlezwarts to labour."^ Mr. E. feared, after leaving 
the station, Titus and his people might fall upon 
him, as it was rumoured that, but for my presence, 
he would have done. Here I was, left alone with a 
people suspicious in the extreme; jealous of their 
rights, which they had obtained at the point of the 
sword ; and the best of whom Mr. E. described as a 
sharp thorn. I had no friend and brother with whom 

* ]\Ir. Ebner remained at Warm Bath hut a short time ; for the 
chief of that place, not obtaining what he anticipated, wliich was 
something other than the gospel, Mr. E. was obliged to decamp, 
return to the Colony, and finally go to Germany, his native country. 



I could participate in the communion of saints, none 
to whom I could look for counsel or advice. A barren 
and miserable country; a small salary, about 25/. per 
annum. No grain, and consequently no bread, and 
no prospect of getting any, from the want of water 
to cultivate the ground; and destitute of the means 
of sending to the Colony. These circumstances led 
to great searchings of heart, to see if I had hitherto 
aimed at doing and suffering the will of Him in whose 
service I had embarked. Satisfied that I had not 
run unsent, and having in the intricate, and some¬ 
times obscure course I had come, heard the still small 
voice saying, This is the way, walk ye in it,” I was 
wont to pour out my soul among the granite rocks 
surrounding this station, now in sorrow, and then 
in joy ; and more than onee I took my violin, (once 
belonging to Christian Albrecht,) and reclining upon 
one of the huge masses, have, in the stillness of the 
evening, played and sung the well known hymn, a 
favourite with my mother, 

“ Awake my soul in joyful lays, 

To sing the great Redeemer’s praise,” &c. 

Soon after my stated services commenced—which 
were, according to the custom of our missionaries at 
that period, every morning and evening, and school 
for three or four hours during the day—I was cheered 
with tokens of the Divine presence. The chief, who 
had for some time past been in a doubtful state, 
attended with such regularity, that I might as well 
doubt of morning’s dawn as of his attendance on 
the appointed means of grace. To reading, in which 
he was not very fluent, he attended with all the 

Africaner’s thirst for knowledge. 109 

assiduity and energy of a youthful believer ; the 
Testament became his constant companion, and his 
profiting appeared unto all. Often have I seen him 
under the shadow of a great rock, nearly the livelong 
day, eagerly perusing the pages of Divine inspiration ; 
or in his hut he would sit, unconscious of the affairs 
of a family around, or of the entrance of a stranger, 
with his eye gazing on the blessed hook, and his mind 
wrapt up in things divine. Many were the nights 
he sat with me, on a great stone at the door of my 
habitation, conversing with me till the dawn of an¬ 
other day, on creation, providence, redemption, and 
the glories of the heavenly world. He was like the 
bee, gathering honey from every flower, and at such 
seasons he would, from what he had stored up in the 
course of the day’s reading, repeat generally in the 
very language of Scripture, those passages which he 
could not fully comprehend. He had no commen¬ 
tary, except the living voice of his teacher, nor 
marginal references, hut he soon discovered the im¬ 
portance of consulting parallel passages which an 
excellent memory enabled him readily to find. He 
did not confine his expanding mind to the volume 
of revelation, though he had been taught by expe¬ 
rience that that contained heights and de^^ths and 
lengths and breadths which no man comprehends. 
He was led to look upon the hook of nature ; and 
he would regard the heavenly orbs with an inquiring 
look, cast his eye on the earth beneath his tread, and, 
regarding both as displays of creative power and infi¬ 
nite intelligence, would inquire about endless S])ace 
and infinite duration. I have often been amused 
when sittimr with him and others, who wished to 

O ^ 



hear his questions answered, and descriptions given 
of the majesty, extent, and number of the works of 
God ; he would at last rub his hands on his head, 
exclaiming, I have heard enough ; I feel as if my 
head was too small, and as if it would swell with 
these great subjects.” 

Before seasons like these to which I am referring, 
Titus, who was a grief to his brother, and a terror to 
most of the inhabitants on the station, as well as a 
fearful example of ungodliness, had become greatly 
subdued in spirit. I had again and again addressed 
him in soft and affectionate language, on his best in¬ 
terests, till he at last entered the house of God, and 
became at once a steady and unwavering friend, and 
many times did he minister to my wants in that hun¬ 
gry land. He, too, vfould not unfrequently sit nearly a 
whole night with the chief and myself, in comparative 
silence. He thought his doing so would be pleasing 
to me, but he would never make a profession. He 
was wont to say his head had become too hard 
with sin, adding, “1 hear what you say, and I think 
I sometimes understand, but mv heart will not feel.” 
He was the only individual of influence on the station 
who had two wives, and fearing the influence of ex¬ 
ample, I have occasionally made a delicate reference to 
the subject, and by degrees, could make more direct 
remarks on that point, which was one of the barriers 
to his happiness ; but he remained firm, admitting, 
at the same time, that a man with two wives was 
not to be envied; adding, “He is often in an up¬ 
roar, and when they quarrel, he does not know wdiose 
part to take.” He said he often resolved when there 
was a great disturbance, he would pay one off. One 



morning 1 thought the anticipated day had come. 
He approached my door, leading an ox, upon which 
one of his wives was seated. “ What is the matter 
I inquired. Giving me a shake of his hand, and 
laughing, he replied, “ Just the old thing over again. 
Mynheer must not laugh too much at me, for I am 
now in for it.” The two wives had quarrelled at the 
outpost, and the one in a rage had thrown a dry rot¬ 
ten stick at the other, which had entered the palm of 
her hand, and left a piece about an inch long, and the 
thickness of a finger. The hand had swollen to nearly 
four times its usual size. Why,” I asked, “ did you 
not bring her sooner ? ” She was afraid to see you, 
and would not come till I assured her that you were 
a maak mensche ” (a tame man.) Having made an inci¬ 
sion, and extracted the piece of wood, she was melted 
into tears with gratitude, while I earnestly exhorted 
her to a better course of life. 

But to return to the character of Africaner; during 
the whole period I lived there, I do not remember 
having occasion to he grieved with him, or to complain 
of any part of his conduct; his very faults seemed to 
‘Jean to virtue’s side.” One day, when seated toge¬ 
ther, I happened, in absence of mind, to be gazing 
stedfastly on him. It arrested his attention, and he 
modestly inquired the cause. I replied, “ I was try¬ 
ing to picture to myself your carrying fire and sword 
through the country, and I could not think how eyes 
like yours could smile at human woe.” He answered 
not, but shed a flood of tears ! He zealously second¬ 
ed my efforts to improve the people in cleanliness and 
industry ; and it would have made any one smile to 
have seen Christian Africaner and myself superintend- 



ing the school children, now , about 120, washing 
themselves at the fountain. It was, however, found 
that their greasy, filthy carosses of sheep-skins soon 
made them as dirty as ever. The next thing was to 
get them to wash their mantles, &c. This was no 
easy matter, from their being made chiefly of un¬ 
tanned skins,, and sewed together with thread made 
of the sinews of animals. It required a great deal of 
coaxing argument, and perseverance, to induce them 
to undertake this Herculean task ; but this, too, was 
also accomplished, to their great comfort, for they 
willingly admitted that they formerly harboured so 
much company that they could not sleep soundly. 
It may be emphatically said of Africaner, that ‘‘ he 
wept with those that wept,” for wherever he heard of 
a case of distress, thither his sympathies were direct¬ 
ed ; and notwithstanding all his spoils of former years, 
he had little to spare, but he was ever on the alert to 
stretch out a helping hand to the widow and father¬ 
less. At an early period I also became an object of 
his charity, for, finding out that I sometimes sat down 
to a scanty meal, he presented me with two cows, 
which, though in that country giving little milk, often 
saved me many a hungry night, to which I was ex¬ 
posed. He was a man of peace; and though I 
could not expound to him that the “ sword of the 
magistrate ” implied, that he was calmly to sit at 
home, and see Bushmen or marauders carry off his 
cattle, and slay his servants ; yet so fully did he 
understand and appreciate the principles of the gos¬ 
pel of peace, that nothing could grieve him more 
than to hear of individuals, or villages, contending 
with one another. He who was formerly like a 

THE author’s illness. 

] 13 

firebrand spreading discord, enmity, and war among 
the neighbouring tribes, would now make any sacrifice 
to prevent any thing like a collision between two con¬ 
tending parties ; and when he might have raised his 
arm, and dared them to lift a spear, or draw a bow, 
he would stand in the attitude of a suppliant, and 
entreat them to be reconciled to each other ; and, 
referring to his past life, ask, ‘‘What have I now of 
all the battles I have fought, and all the cattle I took, 
but shame and remorse ?” At an early period of my 
labours among that people, I was deeply affected by 
the sympathy he, as well as others of his family, ma¬ 
nifested towards me in a season of affliction. The 
extreme heat of the weather, in the house which I 
have described, and living entirely on meat and milk, 
to which I was unaccustomed, brought on a severe 
attack of bilious fever, which, in the course of two 
days, induced delirium. Opening my eyes in the 
first few lucid moments, I saw my attendant and 
Africaner sitting before my couch, gazing on me with 
eyes full of sympathy and tenderness. Seeing a small 
» parcel, containing a few medicines, I requested him to 
hand it to me, and taking from it a vial of calomel, I 
threw some of it into my mouth, for scales or weights 
I had none. He then asked me, the big tear standing 
in his eye, if I died, how they were to bury me. 
“ Just in the same way as you bury your own people,” 
was my reply ; and I added, that he need be under no 
apprehensions if I were called away, for I should leave 
a written testimony of his kindness to me. This 
evidently gave him some comfort, but his joy was 
full, when he saw me speedily restored, and at my 
})ost, from which I had been absent only a few days. 




In addition to Christian Africaner, his brothers 
David and Jacobus, both believers, and zealous assist¬ 
ants in the work of the mission, especially in the 
school, were a great comfort to me. David, though 
rather of a retiring disposition, was amiable, active, 
and firm ; while Jacobus was warm, affectionate, and 
zealous for the interest of souls. His very counte¬ 
nance was wont to cheer my spirits, which, notwith¬ 
standing all I had to encourage, would sometimes 
droop. Long after I left that people, he was shot, 
while defending the place against an unexpected at¬ 
tack made on it by the people of Warm Bath. This 
intelligence deeply affected me, for I knew that he and 
David, with a select few, continued in accordance 
with the dying charge of their elder brother, to keep 
the lamp of God alive; while Jonker, the son and 
successor of the departed chief, turned to those 
courses from which he had been warned by the last 
accents which fell from his father’s lips, though he 
had been a promising youth, without having made 
any profession of faith in the Gospel. The following 
fact will serve to illustrate the character of Kobus, as 
he was usually called. The drought was excessive; 
the people were distressed at the idea of being com¬ 
pelled to leave the station in search of grass. Special 
prayer-meetings were held to implore the blessing of 
rain. Prayer was soon answered, and the heavens, 
which had been as brass, were covered with clouds, 
the thunders rolled, and rain fell like a torrent. The 
display of Divine condescension produced a powerful 
effect on the minds of the people, and many were the 
eyes that wept tears of gratitude. I went out of my 
hut, where I had been nearly blinded by the vivid 



glare of the lightning, and witnessed Kobns comfort¬ 
ing his wife, who was not a believer, while she seemed 
terror-struck at the tremendous peals which even yet 
were rending the heavens, and making the very earth 
to tremble beneath. He asked her how she could be 
afraid of a God so kind, and who could send down the 
rain of his grace, with equal abundance, on dry and 
parched souls; and, falling on his knees, he adored 
God for the blessings of salvation. At this time, an¬ 
other interesting CY^ent greatly encouraged me. The 
subject was a venerable mother, a member of the 
church, and one of the fruits of Mr. Anderson’s 
labours, when on the Orange River. Entering her 
hut, and asking her how she felt, looking upwards 
with an expression of sweet composure, “ I am look¬ 
ing for the coming of the Lord Jesus,” was her reply. 
Observing me addressing her unbelieving daughters, 
who were weeping around her bed, she remarked, 
“ Yes, I have called them, that they may see a Chris¬ 
tian die and a few hours after, she was called to 
the bosom of her God. 


Projected journey—Making bellows—Commencement of journey—• 
Geological observations—Travelling fare—Poisonous honey— 
Ignorance of the natives—Mr. Schmelen’s journal—Other tes¬ 
timonies—Mistakes of travellers—Supposed tradition of deluge 
—A sorcerer. 

The state of the people, and the impossihility of 
the spot on which we lived becoming a permanent 
missionary station,—for, instead of its being a Jeru¬ 
salem, as Mr. Ebner called it, it might, from its 
general character, be compared to the mountains of 
Gilboa, on which neither rain nor dew was to fall,— 
gave rise to much inquiry respecting a locality more 
suitable. It was accordingly resolved to take a jour¬ 
ney to the north, and examine a country on the 
borders of Damara-land, where it was reported foun¬ 
tains of water abounded; but I had only one wagon, 
and that was a cripple. We had neither carpenters 
nor smiths on the station, and I was unacquainted 
with these trades myself. The Orange River was 
impassable ; and even had it been fordable, the wagon 
was incapable of being conveyed to Pella, where it 
might be repaired. After ruminating for a day 
or two on what I had seen in smiths’ shops in 
Cape Town, I resolved on making a trial, and got 
a native bellows, made of goat’s skin, to the neck 



end of which was attached the horn of an elk, and 
at the other end two parallel sticks were fastened, 
which were opened by the hand in drawing it hack, 
and closed when pressed forward, but making a 
puffing like something broken-winded. The iron was 
only red-hot, after a good perspiration, when I found 
I must give it up as a had job ; observing to the 
chief, if I must accompany him, it must be on the 
back of an ox. Reflecting again on the importance 
of having a wagon for the purpose of carrying food, 
when game happened to be killed, (for our sole de¬ 
pendence was on the success of banting,) and Afri¬ 
caner evidently not liking, on my account, to go 
without a wagon, I set my brains again to work, 
to try and improve on the bellows ; for it was wind 
I wanted. Thou 2 :h I had never welded a hit of iron 
in my life, there was nothing like ‘‘ Try.” I engaged 
the chief to have two goats killed, the largest on the 
station, and their skins prepared, entire, in the native 
way, till they were as soft as cloth. These skins 
now resembled hags, the open ends of which I nailed 
to the edge of a circular piece of board, in which 
was a valve; one end of the machine was connected 
with the fire, and had a weight on it to force out 
the wind, when the other end was drawn out to 
supply more air. This apparatus was no sooner 
completed, than it was put to the test, and the 
result answered satisfactorily, in a steady current of 
air; and soon I had all the people around me, 
to witness my operations with the new-fangled 
bellows. Here I sat, receiving their - ])raises, hut 
heartily wishing their departure, lest they should 
laugh at my burning the first bit of iron I took in 



my hands to weld. A blue granite stone was my 
anvil; a clumsy pair of tongs, indicative of Vulcan’s 
first efforts; and a hammer never intended for the 
work of a forge. My first essay was with some trepi¬ 
dation, for I did not like so many lookers-on. Suc¬ 
cess, however, crowned my efforts, to the no small 
delight of the spectators. Having finished what was 
necessary for the wagon, I was encouraged to attempt 
the repair of some gun-locks, which were as essential 
for the comfort and success of the journey as the 
wagon. In doing this, I began with one which I 
thought I could not spoil, should I not succeed; and 
accomplishing that, I was able to put the others in 
order. But in doing this, I had, for the want of 
steel, to sacrifice two of my files, which, in my isolated 
situation, was a sacrifice indeed. Every thing being 
in readiness, we started, with thirty men, leaving 
Jacobus in charge of the alfairs of the station, and of 
the people,—the majority of whom were females, the 
men having removed to a distance on account of their 
cattle. On my objecting to the formidable appear¬ 
ance of so large a party, which included Titus, and 
other brothers, as well as Africaner himself, Jacobus 
remarked, “ I am concerned for your safety ; and a 
large party will have the tendency of preventing any 
thing like an attack being made, more than if it 
were small, as you desire.” In this I found after¬ 
wards he was perfectly right. I shall not trouble the 
reader with the monotonous detail of an African 
journey,—daily inyoking and unyoking, sand here, 
and stones there, and dreary plains following. I 
shall confine myself to some of the most striking 
incidents.—The country over which we passed was 



sterile in the extreme, sandy from the abundance of 
granite. Iron-stone was also to be found, and occa¬ 
sionally indications of copper. Slaty formations were 
also to be met with, and much quartz^ blling up large 
bssures occasioned by former convulsions, and the 
bills in some places presenting a mass of confusion; 
the strata bending and dipping from the perpendicular 
to the horizontal, and in others extending in a straight 
line from one hill to another. Native iron, in a very 
pure state, is procured in these regions ; and, from the 
account given by the natives, I should suppose some 
of it is meteoric. The plains are invariably sandy, and 
there are even hills of pure sand. I also found, near 
some of the mountains, large pieces of trees in a fossil 
state. Zebras abounded, and wild asses, though less 
numerous than the former. Giraffes were frequently 
met with, sometimes thirty or forty together. Elks, 
koodoos, and the smaller species of antelopes, were also 
in great numbers. The rhinoceros (the kenengyane, 
or black chukuru of the Bechuanas) is also to be found, 
hut scarce. Buffaloes had nearly disappeared, at least 
in the region I visited. We had a tolerable supply, 
chiefly of the flesh of zebras and giraffes : the latter, 
when fat, was preferred, though nothing came amiss to 
hungry travellers. When one of the larger animals was 
shot, we generally remained a day to cut the meat up 
into thin pieces, which, spread on the hushes, soon 
dried. The best parts were always eaten first; and 
when pressed with hunger, recourse was had to the 
leaner portions, which had been stowed away in the 
wagon ; and to make it palatable, (for it much resem¬ 
bles a piece of sole leather,) it was necessary to put it 
under the hot ashes, and then beat it between two 



stones till the fibres were loosened; and then it required 
very hard chewing: and many a time have I risen 
from a meal, with my jaw-bone so sore, I felt no incli¬ 
nation to speak. Meat prepared in this way, or fresh, 
with a draught of water, was our usual fare. I had a 
small quantity of coffee with me, which, as long as it 
lasted, I found very refreshing. Some may think that 
this mode of life was a great sacrifice; but habit makes 
it much less so than they suppose. It is true, I did 
feel it a sacrifice to have nothing at all to eat, and to 
bind the stomach with a thong to prevent the gnawing 
of hunger; and, under these circumstances, to break 
the bread of eternal life to the perishing heathen. A¥ater 
was in general very scarce; sometimes in small pools, 
stagnant, and with a green froth; and more than once 
we had to dispute with lions the possession of a pool. 
One day our guide (for it was a country without roads) 
led us towards a ravine which presented an animating 
appearance, the sides of the hills being covered with 
a lovely green; but, on our reaching them, scarcely 
anything was to be seen but a species of euphorbia, use¬ 
less either to man or beast, and through which we with 
difficulty made our way. Being hot, and the oxen worn 
out, we halted ; and some of the men having been suc¬ 
cessful in finding honey in the fissures of the rocks, we 
ate with no little relish, thinking ourselves fortunate, 
for food was scarce. Shortly after an individual com¬ 
plained that his throat was becoming very hot; then a 
second, and a third, till all who had eaten felt as if their 
throats were on fire. A native coming up, and seeing 
our hands and faces besmeared with honey, with the 
greatest simplicity said, “You had better not eat the 
honey of this vale; do you not see the poison bushes. 



(euphorbia,) from the flowers of which the bees extract 
the honey, and the poison too?” Every one had re¬ 
course to the little water that remained in the vessels, 
for the inward heat was terrible ; and the water, instead 
of allaying, only increased the pain. No serious con¬ 
sequences followed; but it was several days before we 
got rid of a most unpleasant sensation in the head as 
well as the throat. 

We occasionally met with a Namaqua village, where 
we always remained a day or two, in order to give the 
inhabitants the benefit (to many for the first time) of 
hearing the everlasting gospel. Their ignorance, though 
to a calm reasoner on the subject, not to be wondered 
at, was distressing in the extreme, and perfectly con¬ 
founding to my preconceived notions about innate and 
intuitive ideas, and what some term natural light. I 
was determined not to he driven from the sentiments 
entertained by a vast majority of the respected advo¬ 
cates of religion in my own native land of light,—sen¬ 
timents which I preferred even to those of the late 
venerable Roby, of Manchester, at whose feet I sat for a 
short season. I had with me one of the best of interpre¬ 
ters, himself a child of God, and I tried one native after 
another, to make my own point good. Sometimes I 
would even put words into the mouth of Africaner, and 
ask, ‘‘ Does he not mean so and so ?” In some there 
was a glimmering of light; but again I found, to my 
mortification, that this had been received from the 
‘Giat-wearers,” as they called the people from the 
south, or from Mr. Schmelen’s station at Bethany, 
whom they denominated, “ the people that talked 
about God.” Bv visitors to Warm J3ath, the in- 
structions of the Albrechts had extended far, till they 



melted away in the obscurity of heathen gloom. I 
have often had to labour for hours before I could 
make them understand what I meant or wished to 
know. It would be more amusing and ludicrous, than 
instructive, to give the result of all my inquiries ; and 
perhaps I cannot do better than repeat the substance 
of a conversation between our missionary, Mr. Schme- 
len, and a native, on this subject. Mr. S. had at that 
time better opportunities than any other man of be¬ 
coming acquainted with the views of the Namaquas in 
their native state ; and it would appear from his journal, 
whence the following extract is taken, that he spared 
no pains to elicit their ideas. 

In his journal of the 23rd of May, 1815, which the 
author has seen since his return to England, Mr. S. 
writes thus : “ Addressing a Namaqua, I asked. Did 
you ever hear of a God “ Yes, we have heard that 
there is a God, but we do not know right.” “ Who 
told you that there is a God?” “We heard it from 
other people.” “ Who made the sea ? ” “A girl made 
it on her coming to maturity, when she had several 
children at once : when she made it, the sweet and 
bitter waters were separated. One day, she sent some 
of her children to fetch sweet water, whilst the others 
were in the field, but the children were obstinate, and 
would not fetch the water, upon which she got angry, 
and mixed the sweet and bitter water together; from 
that day we are no longer able to drink the water, 
and people have learned to swim and run upon the 
water.” “ Did you ever see a ship ?” “ Yes, we have 

seen them a long time ago.” “Did you ever hear 
who made the first one?” “No, we never heard it.” 
“ Did you never hear old people talk about it ? ” “ No, 



we never heard it from them.” “Who made the 
heavens ? ” “ We do not know what man made them.” 
“ Who made the sun ? ” We always heard that those 
people at the sea made it; when she goes down, they 
cut her in pieces, and fry her in a pot, and then put 
her together again, and bring her out at the other 
side. Sometimes the sun is over our head, and at 
other times she must give place for the moon to pass 
by. They said the moon had told to mankind that 
we must die, and not become alive again; that is the 
reason that when the moon is dark, we sometimes be¬ 
come ill.” “ Is there any difference between man and 
beast ? ” “We think man has made the beasts.” “ Did 
you ever see a man that made beasts ?” “ No, I only 

heard so from others.” “ Do you know you have a 
soul ?” “ I do not know it.” “ How shall it be with 

us after death ? ” “ When we are dead, we ai’e dead ; 

when we have died, we go over the sea-water, at that 
side where the devil is.” “ What do you mean by the 
devil ?” “ He is not good ; all people who die, run to 

him.” “ How does the devil behave to them, well or 
ill?” “ You shall see ; all our people are there who 
have died (in the ships.)* Those people in the ships 
are masters over them.” In the same journal, the 7th 
of July, Mr. S. has the following:— “After service I 
spent some time conversing with some of the aged, 
hut found them extremely ignorant ; some of them 
could not conceive of a being higher than man, and 
had not the least idea of the immortality of the 
soul. They intimated that their chief had been to 

* Has not this a reference to men-stealcrs, who visited that coast ? 
If so, it appears the natives never knew any thing about the devil, 
till they knew slave-dealers, or at least thev considered them his 



some station to get instructions, and they hoped 
to hear more on these subjects from him.” “ I 
preached,” says Mr. S., “ from Rom. x. 18;” a text 
admirably adapted for people in such gross darkness. 

Mr. Campbell, in his little tract of the “ Life of 
Africaner,” states, Being asked what his views of 
God were before he enjoyed the benefit of Christian 
instruction, his reply was, that he never thought any 
thing at all on these subjects ; that he thought about 
nothing but his cattle. He admitted that he had heard 
of a God, (well might he, being brought up in the 
Colony,) but he at the same time stated that his views 
of God were so erroneous, that the name suggested no 
more to his mind than something that might be found 
in the form of an insect, or in the lid of a snuff-box.” 
This was the testimony of one who had passed from 
darkness to the light of the Gospel, a testimony, the 
writer more than once heard from his own lips. Ig¬ 
norant as the Namaquas were, I cannot go to the 
lengths of a traveller in that country, who, after being 
anxious to ascertain the extent of knowledge among 
the tribe with which he then dwelt, a tribe too which 
had long enjoyed the instructions of missionaries, and 
among which a missionary is still labouring with suc¬ 
cess, makes the following remarks :—I must say 
they positively know nothing beyond tracking game, 
and breaking-in pack-oxen. They did not know one 
year from another; they only knew that at certain 
times the trees and flowers bloom, and that the rain 
may be expected. As to their own age they knew no 
more what it was than idiots. Some even had no 
names; of numbers, of course, they were quite ignorant; 
few could count above five ; and he was a clever fellow 
who could tell his fingers. Above all, they had not the 



least idea of God or a future state. They were liter¬ 
ally like the beasts which perish.” The above dismal 
picture of human degiTidation is, as is stated, the re¬ 
sult of anxious inquiry on the subject; and that too 
at a missionary station where the best facilities can be 
had for correct interpretation. I presume the respect¬ 
able writer would feel not a little offended if his ve¬ 
racity were called in question, or even his want of 
research in those regions. Be that as it may, I must 
entirely differ from him in one point, if not in more, 
in his statement. I have dwelt much with the Nama- 
quas, as well as among the people referred to, but I 
never knew a man who had not a name ; and I have 
sat, and been taught by many infant lips to count more 
than ten, even when no missionary had laboured 
amongst them. It is, however, but just to remark, 
that it must be to a resident, not a swallow visitor 
that we must look for correct information on subjects 
abstract in their nature. I speak from experience 
when I say that on some points travellers are very 
liable to be led astray. For instance, I once, while 
writing, heard a traveller ask his guide the name of 
the last halting place they had passed. The guide, 
not understanding, replied, ‘^Ua reng,” which the 
traveller with all simplicity, was placing in his log 
book; when, interrupting him, I said, ‘^What are 
you writing ? that is not a name: he merely asks you 
what you say.” Accidents like the above frequently 
give rise to wrong names being applied to places ; in 
another instance, mountains ” was the reply, instead 
of the name of the mountain. And in reference to 
points of faith, or extent of knowledge, the traveller 
may be com})letely duped, as I was in the present 
journey. At an isolated village, far in the wilds ot 


Namaqua-land, I met an individual, who appeared 
somewhat more intelligent than the rest; to him I 
put a number of questions, to ascertain if there were 
any tradition in the country respecting the deluge, 
of which vestiges are to be found in almost every 
part of the known world. I had made many inquiries 
before, but all to no purpose. Discovering that he 
possessed some knowledge on the subject, and being 
an utter stranger to any of the party, and to all 
appearance a child of the desert, I very promptly 
took my pen and wrote, thinking myself a lucky 
discoverer. I was perfectly astonished at some of 
his first sentences, and, afraid lest I should lose one 
word, I appointed two interpreters: but by the time 
I reached the end of the story, I began to suspect. 
It bore the impress of the Bible. On questioning 
him as to the source of his information, he positively 
asserted that he had received it from his forefathers, 
and that he never saw or heard of a missionary. I 
secretly instituted inquiries into his history, but could 
elicit nothing. I folded up my paper, and put it 
into my desk, very much puzzled, and resolving to 
leave the statement to wiser heads than my own. On 
our return, this man accompanied us some days 
southward, towards the Karas mountains, when we 
halted at a village ; and meeting a person who had 
been at Bethany, Mr. Schmelen’s station, lying north¬ 
west of us, I begged him to guide us thither, as I 
was anxious to visit the place. He could not, being 
worn out with the journey; but pointing to the 
deluge narrator, he said, “ There is a man that knows 
the road to Bethany, for 1 have seen him there.” 
The mystery of the tradition was in a moment un¬ 
ravelled, and the man decamped, on my seeing that 



the forefather \Yho told him the story, was our 
missionary Schmelen. Stories of a similar kind ori¬ 
ginally obtained at a missionary station, or from some 
godly traveller, get, in course of time, so mixed up 
and metamorphosed by heathen ideas, that they 
look exceedingly like native traditions. Leaving this 
subject for the present, we will return to the results 
of the journey. Having reached some of the branches 
of the Fish River, where we found water by digging- 
like the natives, we were brought to a stand. The 
wild Namaquas, as they are called, were jealous of 
the object of our visit. They knew of the fame of 
Africaner, and were apprized of his object, as well 
as that of the missionary; but they had in earlier 
times received such impressions of ‘diat-wearers,” that 
they were determined either to oppose our proceeding 
or dee. Here we remained some days, and notwith¬ 
standing their suspicions, we got the people to listen 
with great attention to the message of the Gospel. 
We also met with one of their sorcerers, who, the 
night before, had made the inhabitants believe that 
he had entered into a lion that came to the village 
and killed the cattle, creating an uproar which lasted 
till the morning dawn. With a piece of tobacco 
I coaxed him into conversation, and inquired about 
his reported powers, to which he readily replied ; but 
when I wished to put them to the test, he declined. 
I then requested him to try his hand on me ; this he 
also declined, adding, that I was a white sorcerer myself, 
from the strange doctrines I taught. Africaner proposed 
to return, rather than run the risk of shedding blood; in 
which he was confirmed by the arrival of a relative from 
the north, wlio gave a sorry account of the country. 


Return homeward—The lion and giralfe—A night scene—Terror of 
oxen at a lion—Inhuman custom—Search for w^ater—A mo¬ 
ther left to perish—Human depravity—Want of natural affection 
—Sagacity of the lion—The lion’s leap—Horrible position—Mode 
of frightening lions—Sufferings in the desert—Scenes at the water 
—Missionaries of former times—Itinerating fare—A scuffle with 
the lion—Night associates—Bachelor’s Hall—The author’s ward¬ 

On our route homeward we halted at a spot where a 
novel scene once occurred, and which was described 
by an individual who witnessed it when a boy. Near 
a very small fountain, which was shown to me, stood 
a camel thorn-tree, {Acacia Giraffe.) It was a stiff tree, 
about twelve feet high, with a flat, bushy top. Many 
years before, the relater, then a boy, w^as returning to 
his village, and having turned aside to the fountain 
for a drink, lay down on the bank, and fell asleep. 
Being awoke by the piercing rays of the sun, he saw, 
through the bush behind which he lay, a giraffe, brows¬ 
ing at ease on the tender shoots of the tree, and, to 
his horror, a lion, creeping like a cat, only a dozen 
yards from him, preparing to pounce on his prey. The 
lion eyed the giraffe for a few moments, his body 
gave a shake, and he hounded into the air, to seize the 
head of the animal, which instantly turned his stately 



neck, and the lion, missing his grasp, fell on his hack 
in the centre of the mass of thorns, like spikes, and 
the giraffe bounded over the plain. The boy instantly 
follow ed the example, expecting, as a matter of course, 
that the enraged lion wmuld soon find his way to the 
earth. Some time afterwards, the people of the village, 
wdio seldom visited that spot, saw the eagles hovering 
in the air ; and as it is almost alw^ays a certain sign that 
the lion has killed game, or some animal is lying dead, 
they w^ent to the place, and sought in vain till, coming 
under the lee of the tree, their olfactory nerves directed 
them to w here the lion lay dead in his thorny bed. 
I still found some of his bones under the tree, and 
hair on its branches, to convince me of what I scarcely 
could have credited. 

The lion wdll sometimes manage to mount the 
hack of a giraffe, and, fixing his sharp claws into 
each shoulder, gnaw" aw^ay till he reaches the vertebrae 
of the neck, when both fall ; and oftimes the lion 
is lamed for his trouble. If the giraffe happens to he 
very strong, he succeeds in bringing his rider to the 
ground. Among those that w"e shot on our journey, 
the healed w ounds of the lion’s claw"s on the shoulder 
and marks of his teeth on the back of the neck gave 
us ocular demonstration that two of them had carried 
the monarch of the forest on their backs, and yet come 
off triumphant. When I had the pleasure of meeting 
occasionally with the late Mr. Pringle in Cape Town, 
and mentioned some of these facts, his poetical genius 
instantly caught the image, and threw the picture into 
the followdng graphic lines, wdiich may not he unac¬ 
ceptable to those wdio have never seen Pringle’s African 




“ Wouldst thou view the lion’s den? 

Search afar from haunts of men— 

Where the reed-encircled rill 
Oozes from the rocky hill. 

By its verdure far descried 
’Mid the desert brown and wide. 

Close beside the sedgy brim 
Couchant lurks the lion grim ; 

Watching till the close of day 
Brings the death devoted prey. 

Heedless, at the ambush’d brink, 

The tall giraffe stoops down to drink : 

Upon him straight the savage springs 
With cruel joy. The desert rings 
With clanging sound of desp’rate strife— 

The prey is strong, and strives for life. 
Plunging oft with frantic bound. 

To shake the tyrant to the ground— 

He shrieks—he rushes through the waste 
With glaring eye and headlong haste. 

In vain !—-the spoiler on his prize 
Rides proudly—tearing as he flies. 

For life—the victim’s utmost speed 
Is muster’d in this hour of need : 

For life—for life—his giant might 
He strains, and pours his soul in flight; 

And, mad with terror, thirst, and pain. 

Spurns with wild hoof the thundering plain. 

’Tis vain; the thirsty sands are drinking 
His streaming blood—his strength is sinking ; 
The victor’s fangs are in his veins— 

His flanks are streak’d with sanguin’d stains — 
His panting breast in foam and gore 
Is bathed—he reels—his race is o’er : 

He falls—and, with convulsive throe. 

Resigns his throat to th’ ravening foe ! 



— And lo ! ere quivering life has fled, 

The vultures wheeling overhead, 

Swoop down, to w^atch, in gaunt array, 

Till the gorged tyrant quits his prey.” 

We were often exposed to danger from lions, which, 
from the scarcity of water, frequent the pools or foun¬ 
tains, and some of our number had some hair-breadth 
escapes. One night we were quietly bivouacked at a 
small pool on the ’Oup River, where we never antici¬ 
pated a visit from his majesty. We had just closed 
our united evening worship, the book was still in my 
hand, and the closing notes of the song of praise had 
scarcely fallen from our lips, when the terrific roar 
of the lion was heard: our oxen, which before were 
quietly chewing the cud, rushed upon us, and over 
our fires, leaving us prostrated in a cloud of dust and 
sand. Hats and hymn books, our Bible and our guns, 
were all scattered in wild confusion. Providentially, 
no serious injury was sustained: the oxen were pur¬ 
sued, brought back, and secured to the wagon, for we 
could ill afford to lose any. Africaner, seeing the 
reluctance of the people to pursue in a dark and 
gloomy ravine, grasped a firebrand, and exclaimed, 
“ Follow me !” and but for this promptness and in¬ 
trepidity we must have lost some of our number, for 
nothing can exceed the terror of oxen at even the 
smell of a lion. Though they may happen to be in 
the worst condition possible, worn out with fatigue 
and hunger, the moment the shaggy monster is per¬ 
ceived they start like racehorses, with their tails 
erect, and sometimes days will elapse before they are 
found. The number of lions may be easily accounted 
for, when it is remembered how thinly scattered the 



inhabitants are ; and, indeed, the whole appearance of 
the country impresses the mind with the idea that it 
is only tit for beasts of prey. The people seem to 
drag out a miserable existence, wandering from place 
to place in quest of grass, game, or wild roots. Those 
I had met with had from infancy been living a no- 
made life, with one great object in view, to keep soul 
and body together. 

“ A region of drought, where no river glides. 
Nor rippling brook with osiered sides ; 
Where sedgy pool, nor bubbling fount, 

Nor tree nor cloud, nor misty mount 
Appears to refresh the aching eye: 

But barren earth, and the burning sky. 
And the blank horizon round and round 
Spread—void of living sight or sound.” 

Among the poorer classes it is, indeed, struggling 
for existence ; and when the aged become too weak to 
provide for themselves, and are a burden to those 
whom they brought forth and reared to manhood, 
they are not unfrequently abandoned by their own 
children, with a meal of victuals and a cruise of water, 
to perish in the desert; and I have seen a small circle 
of stakes fastened in the ground, within which were 
still lying the bones of a parent bleached in the sun, 
who had been thus abandoned. In one instance I 
observed a small broken earthenware vessel, in which 
the last draught of water had been left. “ What is 
this ?’’ I said, pointing to the stakes, addressing Afri¬ 
caner. His reply was, “ This is heathenismand 
then described this parricidal custom. A day or two 
after a circumstance occurred which corroborated his 



statements. We had travelled all day over a sandy 
plain, and passed a sleepless night from extreme thirst 
and fatigue. Rising early in the morning, and leaving 
the people to get the wagon ready to follow, I went 
forward with one of our number, in order to see if 
we could not perceive some indications of water, by 
the foot-marks of game, for it was in a part of the 
country where we could not expect the traces of man. 
After passing a ridge of hills, and advancing a con¬ 
siderable way on the plain, we discovered, at a dis¬ 
tance, a little smoke rising amidst a few hushes, which 
seemed to skirt a ravine. Animated with the pros¬ 
pect, we hastened forward, eagerly anticipating a deli¬ 
cious draught of water, no matter what the quality 
might be. When we had arrived within a few hun¬ 
dred yards of the spot, we stood still, startled at the 
fresh marks of lions, which appeared to have been 
there only an hoar before us. We had no guns, being 
too tired to carry them, and we hesitated, for a mo¬ 
ment, whether to proceed or return. The wagon was 
yet distant, and thirst impelled us to go on, but it 
was with caution, keeping a sharp look-out at every 
bush we passed. 

On reaching the spot, we beheld an object of 
heart-rending distress. It was a venerable-looking 
old woman, a living skeleton, sitting, with her head 
leaning on her knees. She appeared terrified at 
our presence, and especially at me. She tried to 
rise, but, trembling with weakness, sunk again to 
the earth. I addressed her by the name which 
sounds sweet in every clime, and charms even the 
savage ear, “ My mother, fear not ; we are friends, 
and will do you no harm.” 1 put several questions 



to her, but she appeared either speechless, or afraid 
to open her lips. I again repeated, ‘‘ Pray, mother, 
who are you, and how do you come to be in this 
situation?” to which she replied, “ I am a woman; 
I have been here four days ; my children have left 
me here to die.” “Your children!” I interrupted. 
“Yes,” raising her hand to her shrivelled bosom, 
“ my own children, three sons and two daughters. 
They are gone,” pointing with her finger, “ to yonder 
blue mountain, and have left me to die.” “ And, 
pray, why did they leave you ? ” I inquired. Spread¬ 
ing out her hands, “ I am old, you see, and I am 
no longer able to serve them ; when they kill game, 
I am too feeble to help in carrying home the flesh; 
I am not able to gather wood to make fire; and I 
cannot carry their children on my back, as I used 
to do.” This last sentence was more than I could 
bear ; and though my tongue was cleaving to the 
roof of my mouth for want of water, this reply 
opened a fountain of tears. I remarked that I was 
surprised that she had escaped the lions, which 
seemed to abound, and to have approached very 
near the spot where she was. She took hold of 
the skin of her left arm with her fingers, and, raising 
it up as one would do loose linen, she added, “ I 
hear the lions; but there is nothing on me that 
they would eat; I have no flesh on me for them 
to scent.” At this moment the wagon drew near, 
which greatly alarmed her, for she supposed that it 
was an animal. Assuring her that it would do her 
no harm, I said that, as I could not stay, I would put 
her into tlie wagon, and take her with me. At this 
remark she became convulsed with terror. Othei’S 


Tai^e 13D 



addressed her, but all to no effect. She replied, that 
if we took her, and left her at another village, they 
would only do the same thing again. ‘‘It is our 
custom; I am nearly dead ; I do not want to die 
again.” The sun was now piercingly hot; the oxen 
were raging in the yoke, and we ourselves nearly 
delirious. Finding it impossible to influence the 
woman to move, without running the risk of her 
dying convulsed in our hands, we collected a quan¬ 
tity of fuel, gave her a good supply of dry meat, 
some tobacco, and a knife, with some other articles; 
telling her we should return in two days, and stop 
the night, when she would be able to go with us ; 
only she must keep up a good fire at night, as the 
lions would smell the dried flesh, if they did not 
scent her. We then pursued our course ; and after 
a long ride, passing a rocky ridge of hills, we came 
to a stagnant pool, into which men and oxen rushed 
precipitately, though the water was almost too muddy 
to go down our throats. 

On our return to the spot, according to promise, 
we found the old woman and every thing gone, but, 
on examination, discovered the footmarks of two 
men, from the hills referred to, who appeared to 
have taken her away. Several months afterwards, 
I learned, from an individual who visited the station, 
that the sons, seeing from a distance the wagon halt 
at the spot, where they had so unnaturally left their 
mother to perish, came to see, supposing the travel¬ 
lers had been viewing the mangled remains of their 
mother. Finding her alive, and supplied with food, 
and on her telling the story of the strangers’ kind¬ 
ness, they were alarmed, and, dreading the vengeance 



of the great chief, whom they supposed me to he, 
took her home, and were providing for her with 
more than usual care. I have often reasoned with 
the natives on this cruel practice; in reply to which, 
they would only laugh. It may he imagined, that 
people might devote their friends, and nohles their 
first-born, like the Carthaginians, to appease some 
offended deity; and that mothers, too, should smile 
on the infants their own hands had murdered, from 
similar motives ; but it appears an awful exhibition 
of human depravity, when children compel their 
parents to perish for want, or to be devoured by 
beasts of prey in a desert^ from no other motive 
than sheer laziness, or to get quit of those on whose 
breast they hung in helpless infancy, whose lips first 
directed their vocal powers, whose hand led them 
through many a weary waste, and who often suffered 
the most pinching want, that the babes whom nature 
taught them to love might be supplied. I have more 
than once handed food to a hungry mother, who 
appeared to have fasted for a month, when she would 
just taste it, and give it to her child, when, perhaps, 
that very child, instead of returning grateful service 
to the infancy of old age, leaves that mother to perish 
from hunger. 

Conversing with the party one evening, when sit¬ 
ting around the fire, on the conduct of children to 
their parents, I observed that they were as bad as 
lions. They are worse,’' replied Africaner. This 
he illustrated from the well-known characteristics of 
the king of beasts, or, more properly, king of the 
beasts of prey. Much has been written about Afri¬ 
can lions, hut the half has not been told. The 



following trait in their character may not be intrusive, 
or partaking of the marvellous, with which the tales 
of some travellers are said to abound. I give it as 
received from men of God, and men who have been 
experienced Nimrods too. The old lion, when in 
company with his children, as the natives call them, 
though they are nearly as big as himself; or, when 
numbers together happen to come upon game, the 
oldest or ablest creeps to the object, while the others 
crouch on the grass ; if he be successful, which he 
generally is, he retires from his victim, and lies down 
to breathe, and rest, for perhaps a quarter of an 
hour; in the meantime the others draw around, and 
lie down at a respectful distance. When the chief one 
has got his rest, he commences at the abdomen and 
breast, and after making havoc with the tit-bits of the 
carcase, he will take a second rest, none of the others 
presuming to move. Having made a second gorge, 
he retires, the others watching his motions, rush on 
the remainder, and it is soon devoured. At other 
times, if a young lion seizes the prey, and an old one 
happens to come up, the younger retires till the elder 
has dined. This was what Africaner called better 
manners than those of the Namaquas. 

Passing along a vale, we came to a spot where the 
lion appeared* to have been exercising himself in the 
way of leaping. As the natives are very expert in 
tracing the manoeuvres of animals by their foot-marks, 
it was soon discovered that a large lion had crept 
towards a short black stump, very like the human 
form ; when within about a dozen yards, it bounded 
on its supposed prey, when, to his mortification, he 
fell a foot or two short of it. According to the testi- 

138 THE lion’s leap. 

mony of a native who had been watching his motions, 
and who joined us soon after, the lion lay for some 
time stedfastly eyeing its supposed meal. It then 
arose, smelt the object, and returned to the spot from 
which he commenced his first leap, and leaped four 
several times, till at last he placed his paw on the 
imagined prize. On another occasion, when Africaner 
and an attendant were passing near the end of a hill, 
from which jutted out a smooth rock of ten or twelve 
feet high, he observed a number of zebras pressing 
round it, obliged to keep the path, beyond which it 
was precipitous. A lion was seen creeping up towards 
the path, to intercept the large stallion, which is al¬ 
ways in the rear to defend or warn the troop. The 
lion missed his mark, and while the zebra rushed 
round the point, the lion knew well if he could mount 
the rock at one leap, the next would be on the zebra’s 
back, it being obliged to turn towards the hill. He 
fell short, with only his head over the stone, look¬ 
ing at the galloping zebra switching his tail in the air. 
He then tried a second and a third leap, till he suc¬ 
ceeded. In the meantime two more lions came up, 
and seemed to talk and roar away about something, 
while the old lion led them round the roek, and round 
it again ; then he made another grand leap, to show 
them what he and they must do next time. Africaner 
added, with the most perfect gravity, ‘‘ They evidently 
talked to each other, but though loud enough, I could 
not understand a word they said, and, fearing lest we 
should be the next objects of their skill, we crept 
away and left them in council,” 

The following fact will show the fearful dangers to 
which solitary travellers are sometimes exposed. A 



man belonging to Mr. Sclimelen’s congregation, at 
Bethany, returning homewards from a visit to his 
friends, took a circuitous course in order to pass a 
small fountain, or rather pool, where he hoped to kill 
an antelope to carry home to his family. The sun had 
risen to some height by the time he reached the spot, 
and seeing no game, he laid his gun down on a shelv¬ 
ing low rock, the back part of which was covered 
over with a species of dwarf thorn-bushes. He went 
to the water, took a hearty drink, and returned to the 
rock, smoked his pipe, and being a little tired, fell 
asleep. In a short time the heat reflected from the 
rock awoke him, and opening his eyes, he saw a large 
lion crouching before him, with its eyes glaring in his 
face, and within little more than a yard of his feet. 
He sat motionless for some minutes, till he had re¬ 
covered his presence of mind, then eyeing his gun, 
moved his hand slowly towards it ; the lion seeing 
him, raised its head, and gave a tremendous roar; he 
made another and another attempt, but the gun being 
far beyond his reach, he gave it up, as the lion seemed 
well aware of his object, and was enraged whenever he 
attempted to move his hand. His situation now be¬ 
came painful in the extreme ; the rock on which he 
sat became so hot that he could scarcely bear his 
naked feet to touch it, and kept moving them, alter¬ 
nately placing one above the other. The day passed, 
and the night also, but the lion never moved from the 
spot; tlie sun rose again, and its intense heat soon 
rendered his feet past feeling. At noon the lion rose 
and walked to the water, only a few yards distant, 
looking behind as it went, lest the man should move, 
and seeing him stretch out his hand to take ids gun. 



turned in a rage, and was on the point of springing 
upon him. The animal went to the water, drank, and 
returning, lay down again at the edge of the rock. 
Another night passed: the man, in describing it, said 
he knew not whether he slept, but if he did, it must 
have been with his eyes open, for he always saw the 
lion at his feet. Next day, in the forenoon, the animal 
went again to the water, and while there, he listened 
to some noise apparently from an opposite quarter, 
and disappeared in the bushes. The man now made 
another effort, and seized his gun; but on attempting 
to rise, he fell, his ankles being without power. With 
his gun in his hand, he crept towards the water, and 
drank, but looking at his feet, he saw, as he expressed 
it, his ‘‘ toes roasted,” and the skin torn off with the 
grass. There he sat a few moments, expecting the 
lion’s return, when he was resolved to send the con¬ 
tents of the gun through its head; but as it did not 
appear, tying his gun to his back, the poor man made 
the best of his way on his hands and knees, to the 
nearest path, hoping some solitary individual might 
pass. He could go no farther, when, providentially, 
a person came up, who took him to a place of safety, 
from whence he obtained help, though he lost his toes, 
and was a cripple for life. 

The preceding lion stories, selected from many 
more, will serve for the present to illustrate the 
character of that noble, but dangerous creature. As 
to his being afraid of the human eye, I shall touch 
on that subject in another part of my work, when 
I describe those which have tasted human flesh, 
for which they ever afterwards retain an uncommon 
relish. With all their boldness, they are sometimes 



arrant cowards. On one occasion I remember a 
man, who, coming unexpectedly on a lion, fainted. 
The lion raised himself to look over the bushes, 
and seeing no one, seemed to suspect a plot, and 
scampered oft* with his tail between his legs. It is 
but justice to add, that the man was no less cowardly; 
for, on awaking from his swoon, and looking this way 
and that, he imagined the object of his terror was 
still there, and taking to his heels, he made towards 
the wagon. I have known Bushmen, and even 
women, drive the lion away from the prey he has 
just seized, by beating their clubs on dry hides, and 
shouting; nevertheless, by day, and especially by 
night, he is an object of terror. Such subjects as 
these served sometimes to amuse our evening hours ; 
more frequently, however, I requested my companions 
to propose questions on scriptural and other important 
subjects, in answering which I had an opportunity of 
communicating much useful and edifying instruction. 

Being disappointed in the object of our journey, 
we endeavoured to reach home by a shorter route 
farther to the east, on the borders of the southern 
Sahara desert, which lies between Namaqua-land 
and the country of the Bechuanas. We had nearly 
paid dear for our haste, for we found ourselves in 
a plain of deep sand, and were on the point of 
abandoning the wagon. Each went in search of 
water, but it was in vain, we found only water-melons, 
and those as hitter as gall. I shall never forget the 
ghastly looks of our party—nothing could provoke 
a smile. Some had started off in the direction of a 
river called ’Kam Toaap, which signifies “ the water 
is done,” where they happily found some, and, alter 



drinking largely themselves, filled their calabashes and 
returned ; but before reaching the wagon, their thirst 
again became excessive, and by the next morning 
they had nearly finished all they had reserved for 
us. On my tasting the water, (and it w^as indeed but 
a taste, for I wished that others should wet their lips,) 
the rage for water seemed to increase, and we hast¬ 
ened towards the river. When we reached the top 
of the deep bed of the river, a scene presented itself 
which, though twenty-three years have elapsed, is as 
fresh to my mind as though it occurred but yesterday. 
Two of the men who had preceded us, immediately 
seized the thong of the two leading oxen, to prevent 
them from precipitating themselves with the wagon 
down the rugged steep, after the example of wiser 
heads ; for all the people, without exception, rushed 
down the bank : some kept their feet, others rolled, 
and some tumbled headlong into the muddy pool, 
in which they seemed fain to lie, clothes and all. 
It was well that the water was warmed by the sun’s 
scorching rays, for Africaner, as well as others, re¬ 
corded several instances of thirsty travellers drinking 
largely in their heated state, and instantly expiring 
with their faces in the water. 

The journey, which occupied only a few weeks, 
though without success, settled one important point, 
namely, the impossibility of obtaining in that desolate 
region an eligible situation for a missionary station. 
Jacobus, who had been left in charge, had executed 
his office with great fidelity and zeal. 

The place looked very desolate, and though I had 
still a congregation of about 200 persons, and up¬ 
wards of 100 children in the schools, many were 



absent at cattle out-posts on account of grass. I 
now resumed my itinerating visits on a more exten¬ 
sive scale, as I had able assistants in Jacobus and 
David to carry on the week services of the school. 
Titus, who had also been one of my attendants on 
the journey, and who, from what I saw, would have 
suffered death rather than have seen evil befall me, 
now gave me another display of his attachment. He 
did not like the idea of my riding on an ox with 
horns, which is certainly both awkward and hazardous. 
Some time before, one had fallen, and the rider being 
thrown forward with his hreast on the horn, was 
killed. Titus very generously begged of me to take 
his only horse, which was of great value to him for 

These itinerating expeditions were not unfrequently 
attended with privations as well as dangers. I shall 
briefly advert to some facts connected with this sub¬ 
ject, which will serve to show those who may he 
similarly situated, that their lot is only that of their 
! predecessors. In my experience I often found it not 
I only profitable but animating, to read the sufferings 
I of the messengers of the cross in past ages, to which 
I ours of the present bear no comparison, and espe¬ 
cially to the great Apostle of the Gentiles and his 
coadjutors, who became “ all things to all men, as 
the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, 

I in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprison- 
i rnents, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fast- 
j ings,’’ 2 Cor. vi. 4, .5. 

I After tying my Bible and hymn-book in a blanket to 
the back of my saddle, and taking a good draught of 
milk, I started with my interpreter, who rode upon an 





OX. We had our guns, but nothing in our purse or 
scrip, except a pipe, some tobacco, and a tinder-box. 
Bread we had none ; and though we might have taken 
a small piece of dry meat with us, we did not, hoping 
at our halting-place to meet a son of peace. After a 
hot day’s ride, to reach a village in the evening, the 
people would give us a draught of sweet milk ; and 
then old and young, assembling in a nook of the fold 
among the kine, would listen to my address on the great 
concerns of their souls’ salvation. I exhorted those 
who could read to read to others, and try to teach them 
to do the same, promising them a reward in heaven, for 
I had none to give on earth. When service was over, 
having taken another draught of milk, and renewed my 
conversation with the people^, I lay down on a mat to 
repose for the night. Sometimes a kind housewife 
would hang a bamboos, or wooden vessel filled with 
milk, on a forked stick, near my head, that I might, 
if necessary, drink during the night. 

At one of these places I had slept on the ground near 
the door of the hut in which the principal man and his 
wife reposed. I remarked in the morning, that it ap¬ 
peared that some of the cattle had broken loose during 
the night, as I had heard something moving about on 
the outside of the thorn fence under which I lay. 
“ Oh,” he replied, ^‘*1 was looking at the spoor this 
morning, it was the lion;” adding, that a few nights 
before it sprang over on the very spot on which I had 
been lying, and seized a goat, with which it hounded off 
through another part of the fold. “Look,” said he, 
“ there is part of some of the mats we tore from the 
house, and burned to frighten him away.” On asking 
him how he could think of appointing me to sleep in 




that very spot. Oh,” he rejoined, the lion would 
not have the audacity to jump over on you.” This 
remark produced a laugh from me, in which he and 
his wife joined most heartily; and reminded me of a 
circumstance in his own historv, with which I was 
well acquainted ; for he had been in the jaws of a 
lion. One night, he, and about a dozen more hunters, 
were fast asleep, with a circle of bushes placed around 
their fire. When the blaze was extinguished, a lion 
sprang into the midst of the sleeping party, seized my 
liost by the shoulder, and, with his caross, dragged 
him off to some distance. The others, aroused by the 
scuffle, snatched up their guns, and, not knowing one 
of their number had been carried off, shot in the direc¬ 
tion whence the noise proceeded. One ball happened 
to wound the lion, and, in trying to roar, it let the 
man drop from its grasp, who instantly ran off, leaving 
his mantle, and bolted in among his companions, 
crying out, “ Do not shoot me;” for they supposed 
for a moment that he was the lion. He showed me 
the ugly marks of the lion’s teeth in his shoulder. 

After addressing, in the morning, a party like that 
of the preceding evening, I would again start toward 
another village ; but, owing to the migratory habits 
of the natives in search of water and grass, there was 
considerable uncertainty as to finding them. We 
would travel slowly all day, having had for our break¬ 
fast a good draught of milk ; and in the evening reach 
the proposed spot as hungry as hawks, to find the 
whole party removed, leaving nothing but empty folds. 
To follow the spoor, or track, through the night, was 
out of the question; besides, there was rarely any 
ti’ace of the direction in which the party had de- 




camped. The only living creatures to be seen were 
some vultures and crows perched on a bush or rock, 
which were disturbed by our approach to the ruins of 
a mat house, where they had been occupied in picking 
up bits of skin, and other particles of food. Not 
knowing the distance to the water, we would sit down 
hungry and thirsty, with little inclination either to 
speak or think; and after commending ourselves to 
the care of our heavenly Father, lie down to repose, 
not unfrequently disturbed by visits from hyenas, 
jackals, and sometimes the lion himself; all which 
come to prowl for bones when a village has been 
deserted. Next morning our first concern would be 
to find water ; and, taking our beasts of burden, Vve 
would seek the track which appeared to lead to that 
ever delightful beverage. liaving breakfasted on a 
draught of not very sweet water, we would again set 
off on our lonely course, proceeding very slowly, in 
order not to lose the spoor, regarding ourselves for¬ 
tunate if we succeeded in overtaking the party. 

The above is a specimen of Namaqua itinerating, 
and sometimes the missionary is called to suffer much 
greater privations than have now been described. 
This may be the most proper place, briefly to intro¬ 
duce a sketch of the general character of my manner 
of living while on this station. As before noticed, 
I had neither bread nor vegetables. Mr. Bartlett, of 
Pella, once sent me a bag containing a few pounds of 
salt, but, on examining it, I could scarcely tell whe¬ 
ther there was most sand or salt, and having become 
accustomed to do without it, I hung it upon a nail, 
where it remained untouched. My food was milk and 
meat, living for weeks together on one, and then for a 


bachelor’s hall. 

wliile on the other, and again on both together. All 
was well so long as I had either, hut sometimes they 
both failed, and there were no shops in the country 
where I could have purchased; and had there been 
any I must have bought on credit, for money I had 

I had purchased some ewes from Mr. Ebner when 
he left the country, which I spared, hoping to get now 
and then a lamb. My meals consisted frequently of 
a draught of milk in the morning, another at noon, 
and a third at night, either sweet, sour, or curdled; 
for the Namaquas had not the art of preparing it in 
the manner of the Bechuanas, which will afterwards 
be described. I had frequently pretty long fasts, and 
have had recourse to the “ fasting girdle,” as it is 
called ; on more than one occasion, after the morning 
service, I have shouldered my gun, and gone to the 
plain or the mountain brow in search of something to 
eat, and, when unsuccessful, have returned, laid down 
my piece, taken the Word of Life, and addressed my 
congregation. I never liked begging, and have fre¬ 
quently been hard put to ; hut many a time has an 
unknown fi’iend placed in my hut a portion of food, 
on which I have looked with feelings better conceived 
than described. I shall never forget the kindness of 
Titus Africaner, who, when he visited the station, 
would come and ask what he could do for me, and, 

• on receiving a few shots, would go to the field, and 
almost always bring me home something, for he was 
an extraordinary marksman. 

The contents of my wardrobe bore the same im¬ 
press of poverty. The supply of clothes which I had 
received in London were, as is too often the case, 

L 2 


THE author’s wardrobe. 

made after the dandy fashion, and I being still a 
growing youth, they soon went to pieces. There 
were no laundry-maids there, nor anything like iron¬ 
ing or mangling. The old woman who washed my 
linen, sometimes with soap, but oftener without, was 
wont to make one shirt into a bag, and stuff the 
others into it; and I just took them out as they were, 
and more than once have I turned one to feel the 
comfort of a clean shirt. My dear old mother, to 
keep us out of mischief in the long winter evenings, 
taught me both to sew and knit; and when I would 
tell her I intended being a man, she would reply, 
“ Lad, ye dinna ken whar your lot will be cast.” She 
was right, for I have often had occasion to use the 
needle since. I remember once she showed me how 
a shirt might be smoothed, by folding it properly, and 
hammering it with a piece of wood. Resolving one 
day to have a nice shirt for the sabbath, I folded up 
one, and having prepared a suitable block, I laid it 
on, not a smooth hearth-stone, but fine granite, and 
hammered away in good earnest, when Africaner 
coming by said, What are you doing ?” ‘‘ Smooth¬ 

ing my shirt,” I replied. ‘‘That is one way,” said 
he. So it was, for on holding it up to view, it was 
riddled with holes, some as large as the point of my 
finger. When I left the country I had not half a 
dozen shirts with two sleeves apiece. 


Journey to Griqua country—The Coranna chief-—Unpleasant ride 
— Sleeping in the sand—Scenes on the Orange River—The 
crow and tortoise—The Author drinks poisoned water—Native 
poisons—Kindness of Bushmen—Arrive at Kwees—A desert 
serenade—Leaving the river—Some of the party wander—Pur¬ 
sued by a lion—Extreme hunger and thirst—An encounter with 
baboons—Desperate circumstances—Description of the mirage— 
Polluted water—Arrive at Griqua Town—Visit to Lattakoo— 
Providential escape—Return to the desert—Thunder storm— 
A wet night’s lodging —Providential supply—Encounter with a 
hippopotamus—Arrive at the station. 

After continuing for many months this manner of 
life, cheered in a dry and thirsty land, with the early 
and latter rains on the seed sown in the hearts of the 
people, it was resolved to make another attempt to 
find a more convenient spot on which to conduct 
the mission ; and before closing the account of my 
sojourn in Great Namaqua-land, I will just add the 
particulars of a journey undertaken at the request of 
Africaner. He wished me to visit the Griqua coun¬ 
try, to the east of the desert, to inspect a situation 
offered to him and his people, to which he might 
remove with the full sanction of the chiefs of the 
Gricpias. Africaner was most anxious to leave Nama¬ 
qua-land, and the present offer, which had the ap¬ 
proval of Mr. Anderson, the missionary at that place, 



being attended with some political difficulties, I felt 
some reluctance, but at the urgent solicitations of the 
people, I went. David and Simon, the two brothers 
of Africaner, and Jonker, his son, with Jantye Van- 
derhyle, the chief guide, v/ere my attendants ; we had 
about eight horses, good and bad, wdien we started. 
We each took a caross, or sheepskin blanket, with us, 
and trusted entirely for food to what we might shoot 
and obtain from the Corannas on the road. 

Our course lay principally on the north side of 
the Orange River. Though we journeyed on the 
banks of a river in which there was an abundance 
of water, and though the country was well inhabited, 
we suffered afflictively from thirst, as well as hunger ; 
few villages being on the north side of the river, 
along which we travelled. We were sometimes com¬ 
pelled to scramble over rocky passes in the hills, 
only a fit abode for baboons, which were as plentiful 
as they were impudent. At other times we had to 
cross the river, to avoid the mountains on the op¬ 
posite side, which arose, in the wildest grandeur, 
from the water’s edge. On reaching the w^aterfalls, 
we were kindly received and treated by a Coranna 
chief, called Paul, (to wdiom I shall have occasion to 
refer when treating of the Bechuana mission,) and 
there we halted one day. He had visited our station, 
and felt exceedingly thankful for the kindness I had 
shown him. I was glad of this renewed opportunity 
to preach, and he was glad to hear again the message 
of Divine grace. 

The Orange River here presents the appearance 
of a plain, miles in breadth, entirely covered with 
mimosa trees, among which the many branches of 



the river run, and then tumble over the precipices, 
raising clouds of mist, when there is any volume of 
water. As it was arranged that we should not start 
before sunset, I wandered at noon towards the river ; 
and supposing the falls (from the noise) were not 
very distant, I walked towards them; but feeling 
excessively tired, I sat down under the shadow of 
a bush, and was soon fast asleep, having had little 
rest the night before. Towards evening the hue 
and cry was raised that the master was missing, 
and a number sought my spoor, or footmarks, and 
followed till they found me. The first thing I heard 
on awaking was, ‘'Mynheer^ are you not afraid of 
the panthers ? ” We proceeded on our journey, and 
entered a valley covered with a species of mimosa, 
the thorns of which resembled fish-hooks. Anxious 
to reach the high ground on the hills on the oppo¬ 
site side, before the lions, whose roaring was heard 
on the heights above, should come down towards the 
river, we quickened our pace. But the darkness in¬ 
creasing, and being unable to define the edges of the 
bushes, the rider was frequently caught and thrown 
to the ground, or left a piece of jacket or trovvsers 
on the thorns, so that when we reached the other 
side of the dale we were both ragged and bleeding. 
To avoid following the serpentine course of some parts 
of the liver, we often directed our course, without a 
path, to the next turn of the stream. One of these 
we reached at a late hour, and it being very dark, 
and the banks precipitous, we heard the water mur¬ 
muring below, but dared not go down, fearing a 
plunge, and the company of the hippopotami. 

Being ignorant of the locality, and not knowing 



where the inhabitants (Bushmen) might be, we made 
no fire, lest we should be discovered, and we had 
nothing to roast. There were no trees, and we lay 
down between ridges or hills of deep sand. The 
wind was cold, and we had little covering, having 
left the half of our horses knocked up, and with 
them most of our carosses. The plan adopted by 
Mr. Haensel, a Moravian missionary, in similar cir¬ 
cumstances, occurred to me, and, like him, I made 
a hole in the sand, and buried myself, leaving the 
head out. I soon felt very comfortable, and, ex¬ 
tolling the plan, one of my companions imitated my 
example, and got under the earth. I then told him 
that the missionary whom we were imitating, having 
once submerged himself in the sand near the sea¬ 
shore, was occasionally disturbed by huge crabs ap¬ 
proaching him, and these his faithful dog kept at a 
distance. My companion asked, “ And what are we 
to do if a lion comes ?‘‘We are safe,” I replied, “ for 
he will not eat heads when he can get whole bodies.” 
This removed his fears, and I do not remember to 
have slept so comfortably during the whole journey, 
in wdiich we had often very sorry accommodations. 

The windings of the river sometimes flowed through 
immense chasms, overhung with stupendous preci¬ 
pices ; and then like a translucent lake, with the 
beautiful towering mimosas and willows reflected from 
its bosom; and a rich variety of birds, of fine plu¬ 
mage, though without a song; wild geese, ducks, 
snipes, flamingoes, in perfect security, feeding on 
the banks, beneath the green shade, or basking in 
the sun’s rays on the verdant islands, far from the 
fowler’s snare. The swallows, also, mounting aloft. 



or skimming the surface of the mirror stream ; while 
the ravens, with their hoarse note, might be seen 
seeking their daily food among the watery tribe, or 
cawing on the bending tops of the weeping willows. 
Flocks of Guinea fowl would occasionally add to the 
varied scene, with their shrill cry, and whirling flight 
from the open plain to the umbrage of the sloping 
hank, where they pass the night amidst the branches 
of the tall acacias. But here, too^ the curse reigns ; 
for the kites and hawks might be seen hovering in 
the air, watching the motions of the creatures be¬ 
neath, and ready to dart down, with the fleetness of 
an arrow, on a duckling straying from its parent, 
or on a bird or a hare moving too far from the 
shelter of a bush or tree. The fox also might he 
seen, stealing slowly along from the desert waste, to 
slake his thirst in the refreshing stream, and seek 
for some unfortunate brood which might fall within 
his reach ; and the cobra and green serpent, ascending 
the trees to suck the eggs, or to devour the young 
birds ; while the feathered tribe, uniting against the 
; common enemy, gather around, and rend the air with 
their screams. The African tiger, too, comes in for a 
i share of the feathered spoil. With his sharp claws 
he ascends the trees, in the dead of night, and seizes 

! the Guinea fowls on their aerial roost. The hyena, 
also, here seeks his spoil, and gorges some strayed kid, 
or pursues the troop for the new-fallen antelope or 
foal; and, to fill up the picture, the lion may be heard 
in the distance, roaring for his prey; while man, 

“The great enemy to man,” 

il is no less so to fish or fowl, or spotted deer. Wherever 



lie wanders he seeks to regale his varied appetite ; and, 
more than this, he, as the enemy of enemies, fears not 
to attack the ponderous elephant, face the lion’s glare, 
and for his amusement lay prostrate in the dust the 

Reclining on a rock one day, waiting till my shirt, 
which I had washed, was dry, I noticed a crow rise from 
the earth, carrying something dangling in its talons. 
On directing my companions to the sight, they said, 
‘‘It is only a crow with a tortoise ; you will see it fall 
presently ; ” and down it fell. The crow descended, and 
up went the tortoise again to a still greater height, from 
which it dropped, and the crow instantly followed. I 
hastened with one of the men to the spot, and scared 
away the crow from the mangled tortoise, on which it 
was enjoying a feast. On looking around the fiat rock 
there were many wrecks of former years ; and on my 
remarking I did not think the crow was so cunning, my 
companion replied, “ The kites do the same thing;” 
which I have since frequently observed. 

In our journey along the banks of the river we met 
few of the inhabitants, as most of them had removed to 
the other side. We passed two of the reed huts of Mr. 
Sass, who, with Mr. Helm, had for many years moved 
about with the Corannas, living a self-denying life on 
the sterile banks of the Orange River, which has been 
not unaptly compared, from its extreme heat, to an 
oven. When we happened to meet with any who 
had been under the tuition of these devoted men, we 
felt at home, and received more than the awarded 
boon of a cup of cold water. Others we met, who 
would give us neither meat nor drink, but appointed 
our place of night’s repose, after a toilsome day, where 



tlie lion came his nightly round : hut mercy encom¬ 
passed us about. 

On one occasion I was remarkably preserved, when 
all expected that my race was run. We had reached 
the river early in the afternoon, after a dreadfully 
scorching ride across a plain. Three of my compa¬ 
nions, who were in advance, rode forward to a Bush¬ 
man village, on an ascent some hundred yards from 
the river. I went, because my horse would go, towards 
a little pool on a dry branch, from which the flood or 
torrent had receded to the larger course. Dismount¬ 
ing, I pushed through a narrow opening in the bushes, 
and lying down, took a hearty draught. Immediately 
on raising myself I felt an unusual taste in my mouth, 
and looking attentively at the water, and the tempo- 
rarv fence around, it flashed across my mind that the 
water was poisoned for the purpose of killing game. 

I I came out, and meeting one of our number, who had 
been a little in the rear, just entering, told him my 

! At that moment a Bushman from the village came 
running breathless, and, apparently terrified, took me 
i by the hand, as if to prevent my going to the water, 
talking with great excitement, though neither I nor my 
companions could understand him ; hut when I made 
signs that I had drunk, he was speechless for a minute 
i or too, and then ran off to the village. I followed ; 
I and on again dismounting, as I was beginning to think 
for the last time, the poor Bushmen and women looked 
on me with eyes which bespoke heartfelt compassion. 
My companions expected me to fall down every 
j moment; not one spoke. Observing the downcast 
i looks of the poor Bushmen, I smiled, and this seemed 



to operate on them like an electric shock, for all 
began to babble and sing; the women striking their 
elbows against their naked sides, expressive of their 
joy. However, I began to feel a violent turmoil 
within, and a fulness of the system, as if the arteries 
would burst, while the pulsation was exceedingly 
quick, being accompanied with a slight giddiness in 
the head. We made the natives understand that I 
wanted the fruit of the solanum, which grows in 
those quarters nearly the size and shape of an egg, 
and which acts as an emetic. They ran in all direc¬ 
tions, but sought in vain. By this time I was covered 
with a profuse perspiration, and drank largely of pure 
water. The strange and painful sensation which I 
had experienced gradually wore away, though it was 
not entirely removed for some days."^ 

I was deeply affected by the sympathy of these poor 
Bushmen, to whom we were utter strangers. AYhen 
they saw me laugh, they deafened our ears with ex¬ 
pressions of satisfaction, making a croaking and click¬ 
ing, of which their language seemed to be made up. 
And these barbarians to the letter “ showed us no 
little kindness,” for they gave us some meat of zebras, 
which had died from drinking the same water on the 
preceding day. This was very acceptable ; for having 

* Tlie materials used by the Bushmen, for the purpose of poison¬ 
ing water, are principally bulbs, called by the Colonists gift bol, 
(poison bulb,) the Amaryllis toxicaria, which possesses a strong 
alkali; some species of the Eujphorhia, and other vegetable sub¬ 
stances. The venom of the serpent they prefer for their arrows ; 
and they will even, if opportunity offers, have recourse to that to 
poison small fountains, when the water is nearly stagnant, in order 
to cut off their pursuers. 



fasted that day, we were all ready for a meal ; and, 
though the poisoned water had partially blunted my 
appetite, I enjoyed a steak of the black looking flesh 
mingled with its yellow fat. 

On leaving the next morning I gave these poor 
people a good share of our small stock of tobacco, 
which set them all dancing like Merry-Andrews, bless¬ 
ing our visit with the most fantastic gestures. It 
grieved me, that, from the want of an interpreter, I 
could say but little to them about Him who came to 
redeem the poor and the needy. 

These people had come down from the desert on 
the north in search of water, and were subsisting by 
the chase, by catching a solitary animal in a pit-fall, 
or else destroying it with water poisoned by an infusion 
of bulbs or other roots. They were evidently living 
in some fear of the Corannas, on the opposite side of 
the river, whose cattle form a tempting bait to these 
hungry wanderers. Thinking, and justly too, that 
some part of the earth’s surface must be theirs, they 
naturally imagine that if their game is shot, and their 
honey pilfered, they have a right to reprisals, accord¬ 
ing to natural law, and therefore cannot resist the 
temptation of seizing the property of their more 
wealthy neighbours when it lies within reach. 

On the seventh day we reached that part of the 
river called Quis or Kwees, from which we intended 
to go in a direct course to Griqua Town, leaving the 
Orange River far to the right. We had previously 
made inquiries about the country which lay between : 
some said there was water ; others, that we should find 
none. We had eaten a small portion of meat that 
morning, reserving only enough for one single meal, 



lest we should get no more, and drank freely of water, 
to keep the stomach distended, and felt tolerably com¬ 
fortable. At night we came to some old huts, where 
were remains of tobacco gardens, which had been 
watered with wooden vessels from the adjoining river. 
We spent the evening in one of these huts ; though, 
from certain holes for ingress and egress, it was evi¬ 
dently a domicile for hyenas and other beasts of prey. 
We had scarcely ended our evening song of praise to 
Him whose watchful care had guided and preserved us 
through the day, when the distant and dolorous howls 
of the hyena, and the no less inharmonious jabbering 
of the jackal, announced the kind of company with 
which we were to spend the night; while, from the 
river, the hippopotami kept up a blowing and snorting 
chorus. Our sleep was anything but sweet. On the 
addition of the dismal notes of the hooting owl, one of 
our men remarked, ‘‘We want only the lion’s roar to 
complete the music of the desert.” “ Were they as 
sleepy and tired as I am,” said another, “ they would 
find something else to do.” In the morning we found 
that some of these night scavengers had approached 
very near the door of our hut. 

Having refreshed ourselves with a bathe and a 
draught of water, we prepared for the thirsty road 
we had to traverse ; but, before starting, a council 
was held, whether we should finish the last small 
portion of meat, (which any one might have devoured 
in a minute,) or reserve it. The decision was to keep 
it till evening. We sought in vain for ixia bulbs. 
Our only resource, according to the custom of the 
country, was to fill ourselves with as much water as 
our bodies could contain. We had no vessels in 



which to carry it ; and if we had, our horses were not 
equal to more than the carriage of our persons. We 
were obliged to halt during the day, fearing our horses 
would give up from the excessive heat. When the 
evening drew on, we had to ascend and descend several 
sand-hills, which, weary and faint from two days’ fast¬ 
ing, was to us exceedingly fatiguing. Vanderbyle and 
myself were somewhat in advance of the rest, when we 
observed our three companions remaining behind; but 
supposing they staid to strike light and kindle their 
pi})es, we thoughtlessly rode forward. Having pro¬ 
ceeded some distance, we halted and hallooed, but 
received no reply. We fired a shot, but no one an¬ 
swered. We pursued our journey in the direction of 
the high ground near the Long Mountains, through 
which our path lay. On reaching a hushless plain, 
we alighted and made a fire : another shot was fired, 
and we listened with intense earnestness ; but gloomy, 
desert silence reigned around. We conversed, as well 
as our parched lips would allow, on what must he 
done. To wait till morning would only increase the 
length of our suffering,—to retrace our steps was im¬ 
possible :—probably they had wandered from the path, 
and might never overtake us :—at the same time we 
felt most reluctant to proceed. We had just deter¬ 
mined to remain, when we thought we would fire one 
more shot. It was answered—by a lion, apparently 
close to the place where we stood. No wood was at 
hand to make a fire, nothing but tufts of grass ; so we 
ran and remounted our horses, urging them on to¬ 
wards a range of dark mountains, the gloom increasing 
as we proceeded ; but as our horses could not go much 
above a walking pace, we were in dread every moment 



of being overtaken. If we drew up to listen, bis ap¬ 
proach in the rear was distinctly heard. On reaching 
the winding glen or pass through the mountains, 
despairing of escape from our enemy, we resolved 
to ascend a steep, where from a precipice w^e might 
pelt him with stones; for we had only a couple of 
balls left. On dragging ourselves and our horses up 
the steep, we found the supposed refuge too uneven 
for a standing-place, and not one fragment of loose 
stone to be found. Our situation was now doubly 
dangerous; for, on descending to the path, the query 
was, on which side is the lion ? My companion took 
his steel and flint to try, by striking them, if he 
could not discover traces of the lion’s paws on the 
path, expecting every moment that he would bound 
on one of us. The terror of the horses soon told us 
that the object of our dread w^as close to us, but on the 
right side, namely, in our rear. A¥e instantly re¬ 
mounted, and continued to pursue the track, which 
we had sometimes great difficulty in tracing along its 
zig-zag windings among bushes, stones, and sand. 
The dark towering cliffs around us, the deep silence 
of which was disturbed by the grunt of a solitary 
baboon, or the squalling of some of its young ones, 
added to the colouring of the night’s picture. We 
had not proceeded very far before -the lion gave a tre¬ 
mendous roar, wdiich, echoing from precipice to preci¬ 
pice, sounded as if we w^ere wdthin a lion’s den. On 
reaching the egress of the defile through wdiich w^e had 
passed, w^e were cheered by the weaning moon, rising 
bright in the east. Descending again w^e would gladly 
have laid our weary limbs dowm to rest; but thirst, 
and the possibility of the lion’s resolving to make his 


supper on one of us, propelled our weary steps, for 
our horses were completely jaded. 

We continued our slow and silent mai’cli for hours. 
The tongue cleaving to the roof of the mouth from 
thirst, made conversation extremely difficult. At last 
we reached the long-wished-for waterfall,” so named, 
because when it rains, water sometimes falls, though 
in small quantities ; but it was too late to ascend the 
hill. We allowed our poor worn-out horses to go 
where they pleased, and having kindled a small fire, 
and produced a little saliva by smoking a pipe, we 
talked about our lost companions, who happened for 
their comfort to have the morsel of meat, and who, as 
Jantye thought, would wander from the position in 
which we left them towards the river. We bowed the 
knee to Him who had mercifully preserved us, and 
laid our heads on our saddles. The last sound we 
heard to soothe us, was the distant roar of the lion, 
hut we were too much exhausted to feel any thing 
like fear. Sleep came to our relief, and it seemed 
made up of scenes the most lovely, forming a glowing 
contrast to our real situation. I felt as if engaged 
during my short repose, in roving among ambrosial 
bowers of paradisaical delight, hearing sounds of 
music, as if from angels’ harps ; it was the night wind 
falling on my ears from the neighbouring hill. I 
seemed to pass from stream to stream, in which I 
bathed and slaked my thirst at many a crystal fount, 
flowing from golden mountains enriched with living 
green. These Elysian pleasures continued till morn¬ 
ing dawn, when we awoke speechless with thirst, our 
eves intlamed, and our whole frames burning like a 
coal. We were, however, somewhat less fatigued, hut 




wanted water, and had recourse to another pipe before 
we could articulate a word. 

My companion then directed me to a projecting 
rock, near the top of the hill, where, if there were 
water at all, it would be found. I took up the gun 
to proceed in that direction^ while he went in search 
of the horses, which we feared might have been de¬ 
voured by the lion. I ascended the rugged height to 
the spot where water once was, but found it as dry 
as the sandy plain beneath. I stood a few minutes, 
stretching my languid eye to see if there were any 
appearance of the horses, but saw nothing; turning 
to descend, I happened to cough, and was instantly 
surrounded by almost a hundred baboons, some of 
gigantic size. They grunted, grinned, and sprang 
from stone to stone, protruding their mouths, and 
drawing back the skin of their foreheads, threatening 
an instant attack. I kept parrying them with my 
gun, which was loaded ; but I knew their character 
and disposition too well to fire, for if I had wounded 
one of them, I should have been skinned in five 
minutes. The ascent was very laborious, but I wmuld 
have given any thing to be at the bottom of the hill 
again. Some came so near as even to touch my hat 
while passing projecting rocks. It was some time 
before I reached the plain, when they appeared do 
hold a noisy council, either about what they had 
done, or intended doing. Levelling my piece at two 
that seemed the most fierce, as I was about to touch 
the trigger, the thought occurred, “Ihave escaped, let 
me be thankfultherefore I left them uninjured, per¬ 
haps with the gratification of having given me a 



Jantye soon appeared with the horses. My looks, 
more expressive than words, convinced him that 
there was no water. We saddled the poor animals, 
which, though they had picked up a little grass, 
looked miserable beyond description. We now di¬ 
rected our course towards Witte Water, where we 
could scarcely hope to arrive before afternoon, even 
if we reached it all, for we were soon obliged to 
dismount, and drive our horses slowly and silently 
over the glowing plain, where the delusive mirage 
tantalized our feelings with exhibitions of the loveliest 
pictures of lakes and pools studded with lovely islets, 
and towering trees moving in the breeze on their 
banks. In some might be seen the bustle of a mer¬ 
cantile harbour, with jetties, coves, and moving rafts 
and oars ; in others, lakes as lovely as if they had 
just come from the hand of the Divine Artist, a tran¬ 
script of Eden’s sweetest views, but all the result of 
highly rarefied air, or the reflected heat of the sun’s 
rays on the sultry plain. Sometimes, when the horses 
and my companion were some hundred yards in ad¬ 
vance, they appeared as if lifted from the earth, or 
moving like dark living pillars in the air.* Many a 

* The following remarks on the general appearance of the mirage, 
taken from Belzoni’s “ Narrative of his Operations and Researches 
in Egypt,'’ will not be uninteresting :—“ It generally appears like 
a still lake, so unmoved by the wind, that every thing above is to 
be seen most distinctly reflected by it. If the wind agitate any of 
the plants that rise above the horizon of the mirage, the motion is 
seen perfectly at a great distance. If the traveller stand elevated 
much above the mirage, the apparent water seems less united and 
less deep ; for, as the eyes look down upon it, there is not thick¬ 
ness enough in the vapour on the surface of the ground to conceal 
the earth from the sight ; but if the traveller be on a level with the 

M 2 



time did we seek old ant hills excavated by the ant- 
eater, into which to thrust our heads, in order to have 
something solid between our fevered brains and the 
piercing rays of the sun. There was no shadow of a 
great rock, the shrubs sapless, barren, and blighted, 
as if by some blast of fire. Nothing animate was to 
be seen or heard, except the shrill chirping of a beetle 
resembling the cricket, the noise of which seemed to 
increase with the intensity of the heat. Not a cloud 
had been seen since we left our homes. 

We felt an irresistible inclination to remain at 
any bush which could afford the least shelter from 
the noonday’s sun, the crown of the head having the 
sensation as if covered with live coal, and the mind 
wandering. My companion became rather wild. 
Having been anxious to spare him all the toil pos¬ 
sible, I had for a long time carried the gun; he 
asked for it, apparently to relieve me, but his 

horizon of the mirage, he cannot see through it, so that it appears to 
him clear water. By putting my head first to the ground, and then 
mounting a camel, the height of which might have been about ten 
feet at the most, I found a great difference in the appearance of the 
mirage. On approaching it, it becomes thinner, and appears as if 
agitated by the wind, like a field of ripe corn. It gradually vanishes 
as the traveller approaches, and at last entirely disappears when he 
is on the spot.” 

This phenomenon is called by the Bechuanas, “ Moenene and, 
therefore, parched ground, in Isaiah xxxv. 7, translated, “glowing 
sand,” by Dr. Lowth and others, I have rendered by this term in 
that language. It is produced, as Dr. Hartwell Horne correctly 
remarks, in his “ Introduction to the Critical Study of the Scrip¬ 
tures,” “ by a diminution of the density of the lower stratum of the 
atmosphere, which is carried by the increase of heat, arising from 
that communicated by the rays of the sun to the sand, with which 
this stratum is in immediate contact.” 



motions were such that I was glad to recover posses¬ 
sion of it. 

My difficulties and anxieties were now hecoming 
painful in the extreme, not knowing any thing of 
the road, which was in some places hardly discernible, 
and in my faithful guide hope had died away. The 
horses moved at the slowest pace, and that only when 
driven, which effort was laborious in the extreme. 
Speech was gone, and every thing expressed by signs, 
except when we had recourse to a pipe, and for which 
we now began to lose our relish. After sitting a 
long while under a bush, oh ! what a relief I felt when 
my guide pointed to a distant hill, near to which 
water lay. Courage revived; but it was with pain 
and labour that we reached it late in the afternoon. 
Having still sufficient judgment not to go at once 
to drink, it was with great difficulty I prevented my 
companion doing that, which would almost instantly 
have proved fatal to him. Our horses went to the 
pool, and consumed nearly all the water, for it ap¬ 
peared that some wild horses had shortly before 
slaked their thirst at this spot, leaving for us hut 
little, and that polluted. 

Becoming cooler after a little rest, we drank, and 
though moving with animalcule, muddy, and nau¬ 
seous with filth, it was to us a reviving draught. 
We rested and drank, till the sun, sinking in the west, 
compelled us to go forward, in order to reach Griqua 
Town that night. Though we had filled our stomachs 
with water, (if such it might he called, for it was 
grossly impure,) thirst soon returned with increased 
avonv ; and painful was the ride and walk, for they 
were alternate, until we reached at a late hour the 
abode of Mr. Anderson. 



Entering the door speechless, haggard, emaciated, 
and covered with perspiration and dust, I soon pro¬ 
cured by signs, that universal language, for myself 
and my companion, a draught of water. Mr. A., 
expecting such a visitor from the moon as soon as 
from Namaqua-land, was not a little surprised to 
find who it was. Kind-hearted Mrs. A. instantly 
prepared a cup of coffee and some food, which I had 
not tasted for three days ; and I felt all the powers 
of soul revive, as if I had talked with angels—it was 
to me a feast of reason and a flow of soul.’’ 

Retiring to rest, the couch, though hard, appeared 
to me a downy bed. I begged of Mr. A. just to place 
within my reach half a bucket of water : this he 
kindly and prudently refused, but left with me a full 
tumbler of unusual size : such, however, was my 
fevered condition, that no sooner was he gone than 
I drank the whole. After reviewing the past, and 
looking upward with adoring gratitude, I fell asleep, 
and arose in the morning as fresh as if I had never 
seen a desert, nor felt its thirst. We remained here 
a few days, in the course of which our lost compa¬ 
nions arrived, having, as we rightly supposed, wan¬ 
dered towards the river, and escaped the thirst which 
had nearly terminated our career in the desert. 

The society of the brethren Anderson and Helm, 
with their partners in labour, was most refreshing 
to my soul. A crowded and attentive congregation, 
and the buzz of the daily school, made me forget 
the toils of the road, and cheerfully did I bear my 
testimony to the word of grace which had been so 
blessed among the Griquas. Wishing to visit Daniel’s 
Kuil, Berend’s residence, about fifty miles north of 
Griqua Town, and also Lattakoo, on the Kuruman 



River, nearly as far beyond, my happiness was pro¬ 
longed by the company of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, 
who had promised to visit that station. On this 
journey we had another display of a kind and gracious 
Providence. After leaving Daniel’s Kuil, Nicholas 
Berend, who was wagon driver and guide, lost his 
way before reaching Camel Fountain. This obliged 
us to halt short of the water; and Nicholas, who 
was an intelligent and shrewd man, remarked again 
and again, in the course of the evening, that it was 
a very mysterious thing that he should lose a path 
he knew so well. In the morning we inyoked the 
wagons, and proceeded to the water, which lay far 
to the right ; and on arriving there, we saw, to our 
astonishment and instruction, that we were led by 
a way we knew not, for there had been several large 
lions about the water pool apparently the whole night. 
Had we arrived as we expected, in all probability 
the oxen would have taken fright, and occasioned 
some serious accident. 

We received a hearty welcome from the brethren 
at Lattakoo, where we stopped some days. This was 
the first time I had seen the Bechuanas, with the ex¬ 
ception of a party of Batlaros, who visited Africaner ; 
and when I addressed them there, and now again in 
their own country, I little anticipated that it was to 
be the scene of my future labours. As I must neces¬ 
sarily occupy a considerable portion of this work with 
the Bechuana mission, it will be unnecessarv to refer 
to it in this place. 

We returned to Griqua Town, and after having 
made every inquiry respecting the object of my visit, 
and settled what report to make to Africaner, I pre¬ 
pared to return to Namaqua-land ; and here I might 



close the record of my journey, were it not my wish 
to show the sad reverse of circumstances which some- 
times befalls the African equestrian in a houseless 

In the afternoon, when bidding farewell to the 
dear brethren, with whom I could have wished to 
pass a month, Mr. A. remarked that the weather to 
the westward looked like a storm ; but as these appear¬ 
ances often pass over without a drop of rain, we set 
off, and trusting to the strength of our recruited 
horses, we hoped to pass through the desert to the 
Orange E.iver without much suffering. Mrs. A. had 
provided us with some biscuit, which one of the men 
placed in a sack also containing tobacco. We in¬ 
tended to sleep at Witte Water that night ; but long 
before we reached that place, we were overtaken by an 
awful storm of thunder. The peals were deafening, 
and our horses frequently started from each other at 
the vivid glare of the lightning. It poured torrents, 
so that by the time we reached the spot where we in¬ 
tended to halt, we were drenched to the skin. We 
let our horses go, and sat down, like half-drowned 
cocks, at a bush which could afford us no shelter 
either from wind or rain. After the vehemence of the 
storm had abated, we began to think what must be 
done, for by the falling rain and the piercing wind, we 
trembled as if we should die with cold. After much 
patient search, we found a very few substances capable 
of ignition, and struck a light in the only box where 
the tinder was dry, but in vain we looked for fuel 
to supply our fire ; we threw most of our clothes 
off, for the suffering with them on was unbearable ; 
and leaving one to blow the fire, we sallied forth 
in quest of materials to burn. At some distance 

A WET night’s lodging. 169 

we succeeded in gathering a few small branches, 
when we found at least four hyenas looking on in 
a most daring manner, as if resolved to attack us. 
Such as had both hands occupied, soon relieved one, 
and with stones scared them a little. But, alas ! the 
light of the little fire we had left, had disappeared, 
and we knew not the direction from which we had 
come. We shouted to the man who had remained 
with it, but no answer, save the ugly howl of the 
hyenas. Now we were completely bewildered, every 
one pointing in a different direction, as that in which 
we had come. A second storm pelted us most un¬ 
mercifully, and the wind seemed to penetrate through 
and through our almost naked frames. After a long 
search, we found the little bush^ the man asleep, and 
the fire out. AVe threw down our crow-nests which 
we had gathered for fuel, resolving to brave it out ; 
hut the prospect was horrible, of shivering till the 
next day’s sun should warm us. Each lay down in 
a lump, on a goat-skin, which had served as a saddle¬ 
cloth. Two of us tried to get down to dry earth, for 
though there had been a stream on the ground, it was 
scarcely wet six inches deep. Beyond our exj^ectation, 
we fell asleep, and as I lay rather lower than some of 
my comrades, the rain and sand buried nearly the half 
of my body. It would be vain attempting to describe 
my feelings on awaking at day-break, stiff, cold, and 
dizzy; my hair clotted with mud. AVe crawled off’ 
to the pool of rain-water, and though very thick, we 
enjoyed a thorough ablution ; after wringing the water 
out of our clothes, we put them on as they were, being 
obliged to proceed. Before starting, we resolved to 
have a delightful taste of our biscuit, hut, alas ! when 
the contents of our bag were turned out, we found 



that the rain having saturated the tobacco and biscuit, 
the latter was reduced to a dark-brown paste; smokers 
as we were, this dish was too unpalatable for us^ and 
a good draught of muddy water had to supply the 

As the sun arose towards the meridian, the heat 
became excessive; and if we had been nearly frozen 
at night, we w'ere almost scorched during the day; 
and before we reached water the following night, we 
would have given a crown for a bottle of that in which 
we had washed in the morning. Our return was little 
different from our outward journey, ‘‘ in fastings oft.” 
A kind Providence watched over us, and in some 
cases remarkably interposed in our behalf, which the 
following incident will show. We had passed the 
night without food; and after a long day’s ride, the 
sun was descending on us, with little prospect of 
meeting with any thing to assuage the pains of 
hunger, when, as we were descending from the high 
ground, weak and weary, we saw, at a great distance, 
on the opposite ridge, a line of dust approaching, 
with the fleetness of the ostrich. It proved to be 
a spring buck, closely pursued by a wild dog, which 
must have brought it many miles, for it was seized 
within two hundred yards of the spot where we stood, 
and instantly despatched. We, of course, thankfully 
took possession of his prize, the right to which the 
wild dog seemed much inclined to dispute with us. 
I proposed to leave half of it for the pursuer. “No,” 
said one of my men, “ he is not so hungry as we 
are, or he would not run so fast.” 

The night before reaching home we had rather a 
narrow escape from a sea-cow (hippopotamus.) We 
were obliged to cross the river, which could only 



be effected by passing over two low islands, nearly 
covered with reeds and jungle. They were a great 
distance from each other, and it was now nearly dark. 
We had just reached the first, when a sea-cow came 
furiously up the stream, snorting so loud as to be 
echoed back from the dark overhanging precipices. 
Younker Africaner shouted out to me to escape, 
and, springing from his horse, which appeared pet¬ 
rified, he seized a large stone, and hurled it at the 
monster of the deep, for our guns were both out of 
order. The enraged animal then made for the next 
ford, through which two of us were forcing our 
horses, up to the saddle in a rapid torrent. A 
moment’s delay on our part would have been fatal 
to one or both of us. The other three men remained 
till the infuriated animal had got again into the rear, 
when they also escaped to the second island, where 
expecting another encounter, we made the best of 
our way to the mainland, effectually drenched with 
perspiration and water. We soon after reached a 
village of our own people ; and it was with the live¬ 
liest gratitude to our heavenly Father that we re¬ 
viewed the mercies of the day. These animals, in 
their undisturbed lakes and pools, are generally timid, 
and will flee at the approach of man; but when they 
have been hunted and wounded, from year to year, 
they become very dangerous, as the following fact 
will prove. A native, with his boy, went to the 
river to hunt sea-cows. Seeing one at a short dis¬ 
tance below the island, the man passed through a 
narrow stream, to get nearer the object of his pursuit. 
He fired, but missed ; and the animal instantly made 
for the island ; and the man, seeing his danger, ran 



to cross to the bank of the river; but, before reaching 
it, the sea-cow seized him, and literally severed his 
body in two with its monstrous jaws. 


A detail of our journey was laid before Africaner. 
The whole of our researches gave him entire satis¬ 
faction, when it was resolved that his removal should 
remain prospective for a season. My labours were 
resumed, but the drought was severe, and great 
hunger prevailed in the place. The means of grace, 
however, were well attended, and a delightful unction 
of the Spirit realized, especially in our sabbath con¬ 
vocations : and so strong was the attachment of the 
people that, although I was contemplating a visit to 
the Cape, I dared not to mention the subject. 


Journey to Cape Town—The power of the Gospel—Africaner’s 
critical position—A ludicrous scene—Incredulity of a farmer— 
The surprise—Africaner’s visit to the Governor—Sensation pro¬ 
duced—The author appointed to the Bechuanas—Africaner con¬ 
veys his goods to Lattakoo—His death—His early experience—■ 
Dreams and visions—Africaner’s dream—The author’s anxiety 
about the mission—Why relinquished—Wesleyans resume the 
mission—Mr. Backhouse’s testimony—Difficulties inevitable— 
Prospective view. 

AVhile engaged in an interesting conversation with 
Africaner on the state and prospect of the mission, in 
connexion with the barrier to civilization, not only 
from the state of country and climate, but also from 
the want of intercourse with the Colony, the idea 
darted into my mind, that Africaner would do well to 
accompany me to Cape Town ; and I at once made the 
proposal. The good man looked at me again and 
again, gravely asking whether I were in earnest, and 
seemed fain to ask if I were in my senses too ; adding, 
with great fervour, “ I had thought you loved me, and 
do you advise me to go to the government, to he 
hung up as a spectacle of public justice and putting 
his hand to his head, he asked, ‘‘ Do you not know 
that I am an outlaw, and that 1000 rix-dollars have 
been offered for this poor head?” These difficulties 
I endeaxmured to remove, by assuring him that the 



results would be most satisfactory to himself, as well 
as to the Governor of the Cape. Here Africaner ex¬ 
hibited his lively faith in the gracious promises of 
God, by replying, “I shall deliberate, and commit, (or, 
as he used the word according to the Dutch transla¬ 
tion) roll my way upon the Lord; I know he will not 
leave me.” 

During three days this subject was one of public 
discussion, and more than one came to me with grave 
looks, asking if I had advised Africaner to go to the 
Cape. On the third day the point was decided, and 
we made preparations for our departure, after having 
made the necessary arrangements for continuing the 
means of instruction during my absence. Nearly all 
the inhabitants accompanied us half a day’s journey 
to the banks of the Orange Liver, where we had to 
wait several days, it having overflowed all its banks. 
The kindness of the people, and the tears which 
were shed when we parted from them, were deeply 

Arriving at Pella, (the place as before stated, to 
which some of the people from Warm Bath had re¬ 
tired when the latter was destroyed by Africaner,) we 
had a feast fit for heaven-born souls, and subjects to 
which the seraphim above might have tuned their 
golden lyres. Men met who had not seen each other 
since they had joined in mutual combat for each other’s 
woe ; met—warrior with w^arrior, bearing in their 
hands the olive branch, secure under the panoply of 
peace and love. They talked of Him wdio had sub¬ 
dued both, without a sword or spear, and each bosom 
swelled with purest friendship, and exhibited another 
trophy destined to adorn the triumph of the Prince of 

Africaner’s critical position. 


Peace, under whose banner each was promoting that 
reign in which— 

“ No longer hosts encountering hosts, 

Their heaps of slain deplore ; 

Tliey hang the trumpet in the hall, 

And study war no more.” 

Here I again met with Mr. Bartlett and family, who, 
with the chief and people of the station, loaded us 
with kindness. 

We spent some pleasant days while the subject of 
getting Africaner safely through the territories of the 
farmers to the Cape, was the theme of much conver¬ 
sation. To some the step seemed somewhat hazard¬ 
ous. Africaner and I had fully discussed the point 
before leaving the station, and I was confident of 
success. Though a chief, there was no need of laying 
aside anything like royalty, with a view to travel in 
disguise. Of two substantial shirts left, I gave him 
one ; he had a pair of leather trowsers, a dufiel jacket, 
much the worse for wear, and an old hat, neither 
white nor black, and my own garb was scarcely more 
refined. As a farther precaution, it was agreed, that 
for once I should be the chief, and he should assume 
the appearance of a servant, when it was desirable, and 
pass for one of my attendants. 

Ludicrous as the picture may appear, the subject 
was a grave -one, and the season solemn and import¬ 
ant ; often did I lift up my heart to Him in whose 
hands are the hearts of all men, that his presence 
might go with us. It might here he remarked, once 
for all, that the Dutch farmers, notwithstanding all 
that has been said against them by some travellers, 
are, as a people, exceedingly hospitable and kind to 



strangers. Exceptions there are, but these are few, 
and perhaps more rare than in any country under the 
sun. Some of these worthy people on the borders of 
the Colony, congratulated me on returning alive, hav¬ 
ing often heard, as they said, that I had been long 
since murdered by Africaner. Much wonder was 
expressed at my narrow escape from such a monster 
of cruelty, the report having been spread that Mr. 
Ebner had but just escaped with the skin of his teeth. 
While some would scarcely credit my identity; my 

testimonv as to the entire reformation of Africaner’s 


character, and his conversion, was discarded as the 
effusion of a frenzied brain. It sometimes afforded 
no little entertainment to Africaner and the Nama- 
quas, to hear a farmer denounce this supposed irre¬ 
claimable savage. There were only a few, however, 
who were sceptical on this subject. At one farm, 
a novel scene exhibited a state of feeling respecting 
Africaner and myself, and likewise displayed the 
power of Divine grace under peculiar circumstances. 
It was necessary, from the scarcity of water, to call at 
such houses as lay in our road. The farmer referred 
to was a good man in the best sense of the word ; and 
he and his wife had both shown me kindness on my 
way to Nam aqua-land. On approaching the house, 
which was on an eminence, I directed my men to take 
the wagon to the valley below, while I walked toward 
the house. The farmer, seeing a stranger, came 
slowly down the descent to meet me. When within 
a few yards, I addressed him in the usual way, and 
stretching out my hand, expressed my pleasure at 
seeing him again. He put his hand behind him, and 
asked me, rather wildly, who I was. I replied that I 



was Moffat, expressing niy wonder that he should 
have forgotten me. “ Moffat!” he rejoined, in a fal¬ 
tering voice ; it is your ghost I” and moved some 
steps backward. am no ghost.” “Don’t come 
near me!” he exclaimed, “you have been long mur¬ 
dered by Africaner.” “But I am no ghost,” I said, 
feeling my hands, as if to convince him and myself, 
too, of my materiality; but his alarm only increased. 
“ Everybody says you were murdered ; and a man told 
me he had seen your bones;” and he continued to 
gaze at me, to the no small astonishment of the good 
wife and children, who were standing at the door, as 
also to that of my people, who were looking on from 
the wagon below. At length he extended his trem¬ 

bling hand, saying, “ When did you rise from the 
dead?” Ashe feared my presence would alarm his 
wife, we bent our steps towards the wagon, and Afri¬ 
caner Avas the subject of our conversation. I gave 
him in a few words my views of his present character, 
saying, “ He is now a truly good man.” To which 
he replied, “ I can belicA^e almost any thing you say, 
but that I cannot credit; there are seA^en Avonders in 
the Avorld, that would be the eighth.” I appealed to 
the displays of Divine grace in a Paul, a Manasseh, 
and referred to his OAvn experience. He' replied, 
“ These were another description of men, but that 
Africaner Avas one of the accursed sons of Plain,” 
enumerating some of the atrocities of AAdiich he had 
been guilty. By this time we were standing with 
Africaner at our feet, on Avhose countenance sat a 
smile, Avell knoAving the prejudices of some of the 

farmers. The farmer closed the conversation by say¬ 
ing, Avith much earnestness, “ Well, it what you assert 


be true respecting that man, I have only one wish, 
and that is, to see him before I die ; and when you 
return, as sure as the sun is over our heads, I will go 
with you to see him, though he killed my own uncle.” 
I was not before aware of this fact, and now felt some 
hesitation whether to discover to him the object of 
his wonder; but knowing the sincerity of the farmer, 
and the goodness of his disposition, I said, “This, 
then, is Africaner! ” He started back, looking in¬ 
tensely at the man, as if he had just dropped from the 
clouds. “Are you Africaner?” he exclaimed. He 
arose, doffed his old hat, and making a polite bow, 
answered, “ I am.” The farmer seemed thunder¬ 
struck ; but when, by a few questions, he had assured 
himself of the fact, that the former bugbear of the 
border stood before him, now meek and lamb-like in 
his whole deportment, he lifted up his eyes, and ex¬ 
claimed, “ O God, what a miracle of thy power 1 
what cannot thy grace accomplish?” The kind far¬ 
mer, and his no less hospitable wife, now abundantly 
supplied our wants ; but we hastened our departure, 
lest the intelligence might get abroad that Africaner 
was with me, and bring unpleasant visitors. 

On arriving at Cape Town, I waited on his Excel¬ 
lency the Governor, Lord Charles Somerset, who ap¬ 
peared to receive with considerable scepticism, my 
testimony that I had brought the far-famed Africaner 
on a visit to his Excellency. The following day was 
appointed for an interview, when the chief was re¬ 
ceived by Lord Charles with great affability and kind¬ 
ness ; and he expressed his pleasure at seeing thus 
before him, one who had formerly been the scourge of 
the country, and the terror of the border colonists. 



His Excellency was evidently much struck with this 
result of missionary enterprise, the benefit of which 
he had sometimes doubted. I remembered when I 
first arrived at Cape Town, the reply to my memorial 
for permission to proceed to my destination in Great 
Namaqua-land, was, that his Excellency had cogent 
reasons for not complying with my request, and I was 
obliged to remain eight months in the Colony: this 
time was not, however, lost, for it was turned to ad¬ 
vantage by learning the Dutch language, and attend¬ 
ing to other preliminaries for a missionary campaign. 
Whatever he might think of his former views, his 
Excellency was now convinced that a most important 
point had been gained; and, as a testimony of his 
good feeling, he presented Africaner with an excellent 
wagon, value eighty pounds sterling. 

A short time previous to my visit to the Cape, a de¬ 
putation from the London Missionary Society, consist¬ 
ing of the Revds. J. Campbell and Dr. Philip, arrived, 
for the purpose of examining the state of our African 
missions, and to them Africaner’s visit was a subject 
of deep interest. It appeared to be one of the hap¬ 
piest moments of Mr. Campbell’s life to hold converse 
with the man at whose very name, on his first visit 
to Namaqua-land, he had trembled, but on whom, in 
answer to many prayers, he now looked as a brother 
beloved. Often while interpreting for Mr. C. in his 
inquiries, I have been deeply aftected with the over¬ 
flow of soul experienced by both, while rehearsing the 
scenes of bygone days. 

Africaner’s appearance in Cape Town excited 
considerable attention, as his name and exploits 
had been familiar to many of its inhabitants lor 



more than twenty years. Many were struck with 
the unexpected mildness and gentleness of his de¬ 
meanor, and others with his piety and accurate 
knowledge of the Scriptures, His New Testament was 
an interesting object of attention, it was so completely 
thumbed and worn by use. His answers to a num¬ 
ber of questions put to him by the friends in Cape 
Town, and at a public meeting at the Paarl, exhibited 
his diligence as a student in the doctrines of the 
Gospel, especially when it is remembered that Afri¬ 
caner never saw a Catechism in his life, but obtained 
all his knowledge on theological subjects from a 
careful perusal of the Scriptures, and the verbal in¬ 
structions of the missionary. 

My object in coming to the Colony was twofold; 
to procure supplies, and to introduce Africaner to 
the notice of the Colonial Government. With the 
fullest hope of returning to my dock, who had now 
become exceedingly dear to me, I had made purchases 
on the road to take with me on my return; but 
this was not to take place, for it was the wish of 
the Deputation, that I should accompany them in 
their visits to the missionary stations, and eventually 
be appointed to the Bechuana mission. To me this 
was at drst a startling proposition, and one to which 
I acceded with much reluctance, and not till Africaner 
gave his entire consent, which he did with great 
diffidence and modesty, having some slight hope, in 
which I concurred, that he might with his people re¬ 
move to that neighbourhood, having been frequently 
invited by a tribe of the Bechuanas, parties of whom 
were wont to trade with him in Namaqua-land. 
Africaner and party left with mingled emotions, and 

Africaner’s journey to lattakoo. 181 

were kindly supplied with a government passport to 
ensure the friendship and attention of the colonists, 
through whose lands they must pass. 

The remaining particulars of this good man’s ca¬ 
reer must now be related as briefly as possible ; to 
which I propose to add some observations on the 
termination of our missionary operations in Namaqua- 
land. He very generously offered to take my books 
and a few articles of furniture I had purchased, in his 
wagon across the continent to Lattakoo. During my 
stay at Cape Town, Miss Smith, to whom I had 
been long previously engaged, arriving from England, 
we were united, and we accompanied Mr. Campbell 
on his second visit to Lattakoo. Here we were fa¬ 
voured with one more short but delightful interview. 
This faithful and affectionate friend remembered his 
promise, and brought me the articles, of which he 
knew I must stand in need. Nearly a year had in¬ 
tervened, and he had spent the time, in conjunction 
with his brothers David and Jacobus, in continuing 
the public services, and teaching in the schools at 
the station, while I had been on the tour with the 
Deputation. Mr. Campbell being about to return 
to England, Africaner travelled with us as far as 
Daniel’s Kuil to accompany him, where he met the 
Griqua chief, Berend Berend, with whom, as stated 
in a former chapter, he had had many a deadly con¬ 
test. Being now both converts to the faith, all their 
former animosities were melted away by the gospel 
of peace and love. These chiefs sat down together 
in our tent with a number of people, when all united 
in singing a hymn of praise to God, and listening 
to an address, from the invitation of Jehovah to 



the ends of the earth to look to Him, and Him alone, 
for salvation. After which, they knelt at the same 
stool, before the peaceful throne of the Redeemer ; 
thus the Gospel makes— 

“Lions, and beasts of savage name, 

Put on the nature of the lamb.” 

We parted, with some hope that we migdit see him 
again : but no — it was the last farewell ; for scarcely 
two years had elapsed when he was called to enter 
into the joy of his Lord. This he had anticipated, 
with the full assurance of hope, believing that ‘‘when 
his earthly house should be dissolved, he would have 
a building of God.’’ — The closing scene of his life is 
faithfully delineated by the Rev. J. Archbell, Wes¬ 
leyan missionary, in a letter to Dr. Philip, dated 
March 14th, 1823. 

“ When he found his end approaching, he called all the people 
together, after the example of Joshua, and gave them directions 
as to their future conduct. ‘ We are not,’ said he, ‘ what we were, 
savages, but men professing to be taught according to the Gospel. 
Let us then do accordingly. Live peaceably with all men, if 
possible : and if impossible, consult those who are placed over 
you, before you engage in any thing. Remain together, as you 
have done since I knew you. Then wdien the Directors think 
fit to send you a missionary, you may be ready to receive him. 
Behave to any teacher you may have sent as one sent of God, 
as I have great hope that God will bless you in this respect 
when I am gone to heaven. I feel that I love God, and that he 
has done much for me, of which I am totally unworthy. 

“‘My former life is stained with blood; but Jesus Christ has 
pardoned me, and I am going to heaven. Oh ! beware of falling 
into the same evils into which I have led you frequently ; but seek 
God, and he will be found of you to direct you.’ 

“Africaner was a man of sound judgment, and of undaunted 



courage ; and although he himself was one of the first and the 
severest persecutors of the Christian cause, he would, had he lived, 
have spilled his blood, if necessary, for his missionary.” 

Many had been the refreshing hours we had spent 
together, sitting or walking, tracing the operations 
of the word and Spirit on his mind, which seemed 

to have been first excited under the ministry of 


Christian Albrecht. Subsequent to that period, his 
thoughts were frequently occupied while looking 
around him, and surveying the “ handy-works” of 
God, and asking the question, Are these the 
productions of some great Being?—how is it that 
his name and character have been lost among the 
Namaquas, and the knowledge of Him confined to 
so few ?—has that knowledge only lately come to 
the world ?—how is it that He does not address 
mankind in oral language ?” His mind had re¬ 
ceived an impetus, not from the light of nature, 
bright as her page appears to one even partially 
illumined by the voice of revelation, but from what 
he had heard from the missionary. The torch of 
Divine truth which had but just begun to irradiate 
with its yet feeble rays his intellectual powers, 
had been by his own violence removed far beyond 
his reach, and he was thus left to grope like one 
in the dark; but dark as his soul was, he could 
not retire from the ruins of Warm Bath without a 
pang. In trying to grasp the often indistinct rays 
of light, which would occasionally flit across his 
partially awakened understanding, he became the 
more bewildered, especially when he thought of the 
spirit of the Gospel message, ‘‘ Good-will to man.” 



He often wondered whether the hook he saw some 
of the farmers use said any thing on the subject ; 
and then he would conclude, that if they worshipped 
any such being, he must he one of a very different 
character from that God of love to whom the mis¬ 
sionaries directed the attention of the Namaquas. 

It was at a period when Africaner’s judgment ap¬ 
peared to be wavering, and when he was about to 
dismiss for ever from his thoughts the graver subjects 
of revelation, death and immortality, that he had 
rather a remarkable dream, which gave his mind a 
bias it never afterward forsook. Although I admit, 
with many others, that dreams may be of three 
classes, human, satanic, and divine, — those of the 
latter class being very rare, — I have ever found it 
necessary to discourage, rather than to countenance, 
a regard to them among the heathen, on whose minds 
light has just begun to break, and who, under their 
first impressions, are very prone to give a supersti¬ 
tious interpretation to dreams, some of which are of 
too monstrous a character to be permitted an asylum 
in the mind. These generally obtain currency among 
the ignorant, and such as feel more pleasure in hawk¬ 
ing about their nocturnal reveries, than spending their 
time in learning to read the law and the testimony ; 
and the delusion does not stop here ; they hear of 
visions, and think that they may come in for a share 
of them, and thus bring back the ancient dispensa¬ 
tion, adding to dreams unearthly sights. 

I have heard of some who had seen an angel behind 
a bush ; of others who had beheld the Saviour, and 
could tell his form ; of some who have heard a voice 
from heaven; of others who have gone as far as 


Africaner’s dream. 

Jerusalem, like Mahomet, though not on an ass, and 
ascended to the third heaven, and returned the same 
night. When these things have found place, the 
missionary finds it necessary gently to introduce other 
matters into their channels of reflection, and impart 
a genuine currency in the place of that hase coin, 
which, alas ! is sometimes vended in more enlightened 
countries than Africa. But Africaner was a man who 
never dealt in such commodities. In the development 
of his Christian experience, his motto was, “Thus 
saith the Lord.” The following I heard him relate 
only once, and it seemed then to have been revived in 
his mind hy looking at a mountain opposite to which 
we sat, and along the steep sides of which ran a 
narrow path to the top. 

He supposed, in his dream, that he was at the hase 
of a steep and rugged mountain, over which he must 
pass by a path, leading along an almost perpendicular 
precipice to the summit. On the left of the path, the 
fearful declivity presented one furnace of fire and 
smoke, mingled with lightning. As he looked round 
to flee from a sight which made his whole frame 
tremble, one appeared out of those murky regions, 
whose voice, like thunder, said that there was no 
escape but by the narrow path. He attempted to 
ascend thereby, hut felt the reflected heat from the 
precipice (to which he was obliged to cling) more 
intense than that from the burning pit beneath. 
When ready to sink with mental and physical agony, 
he cast his eyes upwards beyond the burning gulf, 
and saw a person stand on a green mount, on which 
the sun appeared to shine with peculiar brilliancy. 
This individual drew near to the ridge of the preci- 

186 author’s anxiety about the mission. 

pice, and beckoned him to advance. Shielding the 
side of his face with his hands, he ascended, through 
heat and smoke, such as he would have thought 
no human frame could endure. He at last reached 
the long-desired spot, which became increasingly 
bright, and when about to address the stranger, he 

On asking him what was his interpretation of the 
dream, he replied, that it haunted his mind for a long 
time, like a poisonous thorn in the flesh, and he could 
bear to reflect on it only when, as he said, with great 
simplicity, I thought the path was the narrow road 
leading from destruction to safety, from hell to 
heaven ; the stranger I supposed to be that Saviour 
of whom I had heard, and long were my thoughts 
occupied in trying to discover when and how I 
was to pass along the burning pathadding, with 
tears in his eyes, “ Thank God, I have passed.” 

It may not be improper, before concluding the 
subject of the mission to Africaner, to notice the 
cause why a missionary was not sent according to 
promise. That I did not forget to urge it, may be 
seen from the following extract from one of my letters 
to the Directors ; 

“ But whilst they afford cause for gratitude, it is to he recollected, 
that their situation calls for sympathy and help at your hands. 
You have had the honour of sending them the glad tidings of the 
Gospel, which have been blessed in a singular manner to many 
who were formerly buried in degradation and guilt. I have there 
seen the lion become a lamb, the captive set at liberty, and the 
mourner comforted: yea, more, I have seen men, once the dupes 
of ignorance and vice, sweetly falling asleep in Jesus ; others ex¬ 
ulting, as they departed out of life, and saying, ‘ It is finished, for 
guilty me.’ Sometimes my solitary moments are interrupted with 



their doleful complaints; — ‘You have snatched us from heathen 
darkness ; discovered to us the enemies of our never-dying souls; 
pointed us to the Lamb of God, and withdrawn the curtain of the 
eternal world. We see the crown that awaits the faithful, but 
why have you left us to finish the warfare alone ? The battle is 
great, and our strength is small, and we are ready to perish for lack 
of knowledge.’ Such is the situation of that interesting people, and 
surely such a situation demands sympathy and help.” 

This appeal was not forgotten ; but the expectation 
that the people would remove, according to their 
original intention, to another part of the country, 
caused some delay on the part of the Directors. Mr. 
Schmelen, also, who had laboured so successfully in 
Great Namaqua-land, and whose enterprise planted 
a station at Bethany, two hundred miles beyond the 
Orange River, had been compelled to retire towards 
the Colony, and abandon the Great Namaqua mission 
for a season, owing to the unsettled state- of the 
countrv, and a civil war on the station. At the same 
time, Africaner’s people separated, one part going 
towards the Fish River, where Jonker, alas! carried 
on the character of a freebooter, taking the cattle 
of the Damaras, while another part remained behind, 
on the old station, and kept up the worship of God. 

At that period the mania for war extended from 
the Zoolus near Port Natal on the east, to Angra 
Pequena Bay on the west. Commencing with the 
Zoolus, Matabele, and Mantatees, the demon of war 
seemed to tly from people to people, and the nume¬ 
rous tribes of the Bechuana and Basuto appeared 
for a while devoted to destruction. Griquas, Co- 
rannas, and Namaquas, though last not least, from 
their contiguity to the Colony, possessing superior 
means of carrying on the bloody game, continued 
with few exceptions, to scatter devastation, distress, 


and woe, until the vengeance of Heaven fell both on 
them and their ill-gotten spoils. These were days 
of trials, and scarcely a missionary station escaped 
unscathed north of the Orange river. 

As soon as these troubles began to subside in 
Namaqua-land, our Wesleyan brethren nobly extend¬ 
ed their efforts to that country. Their labours have 
been crowned with success, and I have watched their 
onward progress with as much interest as if I had 
been one of their number. The field being thus 
ably occupied, it was unnecessary for the London 
Missionary Society to send others, while the charac¬ 
ter of the country already described, with its scanty 
population, and the cry for missionaries to carry on 
the work in more important fields, influenced the 
Directors to leave that section of the missionary 
world to our Wesleyan brethren. 

While preparing the preceding pages, I received 
from Mr. J. Backhouse a tract entitled “Effects of 
the Gospel on the Africaner Family,” the perusal 
of which has afforded me the most grateful plea¬ 
sure. Messrs. Backhouse and Walker, two valuable 
members of the Society of Friends, have recently 
visited the Missionary stations in the South Seas, 
as well as those in South Africa. The results of 
their observation, as reported by them, are very satis¬ 
factory. In reference to the people of Namaqua-land, 
Mr. B. writes in a letter addressed to myself:—“ I 
have no doubt but thou wilt be interested in learn¬ 
ing, that the Wesleyans are reaping an encouraging 
harvest in Great Namaqua-land, from the seed sown 
in former days by the London Missionary Society, 
in which thou hadst a part.” 

. On the resumption of the Warm Bath station, 

MR. backhouse’s TESTIMONY. 


(now Nisbet Bath,) and Africaner’s Kraal as an out- 
station, and the pleasing fruits which have followed 
the labours of Mr. Cook and others^, the conversion 
of Titus Africaner, and the consequent peace and 
harmony among the people^, once engaged in warlike 
strife, the writer of the tract makes the following 
judicious remarks. ‘Mn tracing the history of the 
Africaner family in the preceding pages, the reader 
will probably have been struck with the evidence it 
affords of the efficacy of the Gospel, notwithstanding 
it may have been imperfectly received, as well as 
the importance of attending to the counsel, ‘ In the 
morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold 
not thine hand; for thou knowest not whether shall 
prosper, either this or that; or whether they both 
shall be alike good.’” 

From Mr. Cook’s communications, it appears that 
there is a prospect of further openings in the inte¬ 
rior, and even the Damara country may, ere long, 
become the field of missionary labour. It must be 
acknowledged, however, that difficulties almost insu¬ 
perable present themselves in the way of carrying 
on missions in the back parts of Namaqua-land, and 
the country of theDamaras, from local circumstances; 
and, until there is a change of seasons, the Namaqua 
missions will continue to struggle as they have done, 
even though planted and supported on the most 
liberal principles. Expensive they must be to make 
them efficient, and the agents employed will have 
to lead a self-denying life, as long as their resources 
for themselves, as well as means of civilizing the 
people, have to he brought overland from Cape Town- 
Even were boring for water introduced, unless there 



be more rain in the country, the people must ever 
lead a wandering life; an obstacle to missionary 
success complained of by all. A considerable time 
must elapse before the missionary can reach the 
understanding directly by his own voice, from the 
extreme difficulty of acquiring their clicking language; 
and although the Dutch is gradually supplanting it, 
much time will be necessary for the latter to become 

Mr. Schmelen translated the four Gospels into 
the Namaqua language, which were printed by the 
British and Foreign Bible Society. This, from the 
character of the language, must have been a work 
of much labour. Whether the Wesleyan brethren 
intend to carry on their work through the medium 
of the Namaqua or the Dutch language, I have not 
been able to ascertain. It would be no great loss 
if the Hottentot language were annihilated; though, 
from the scattered state of the population, it is not 
probable that this will soon be the case. But the 
zeal by which our Wesleyan brethren are distin¬ 
guished, supported by an extensive native agency, 
may overcome all these difficulties, which would be 
greatly diminished were it possible to fix a mission¬ 
ary station on the sandy and sterile shores of Angra 
Pequena, and Walvisch Bays. 

These places have been visited by Schmelen,^ 
Archbell, and Sir J. Alexander; but from all accounts 
the whole extent of the coast presents little to en¬ 
courage such a plan. The banks of some of the 

* It is reported that Mr. Schmelen went to those places, but the 
author cannot vouch that he reached the latter. Mr. Archbell 
visited it by sea. 



rivers, in which water seldom flows, may be traced 
in their winding courses by acacias, the timber of 
which is of the poorest description. Ebony trees 
are also thinly scattered in the neighbourhood of the 
Orange River, hut neither there nor in the open 
country is any thing like timber to be found, which 
would authorize commercial speculations, as a late 
traveller into that country recommended. Independ¬ 
ently of the Orange River not being navigable, and 
the want of suitable hays on the coast, the impos¬ 
sibility of the country being benefited from those 
quarters, will be evident. I feel persuaded that the 
period has arrived, when we must abandon the idea 
of long, expensive, tiresome, and in some instances 
dangerous journeys, either from the promontory of 
the Cape, or from Algoa Bay, to remote distances 
in the interior. It is now quite time to look to the 
eastern and western coasts of the continent, and 
form a chain of stations, from either, or both, to¬ 
wards the centre; and establish Missionary Colonies 
on lakes, or at the sources of those rivers which 
fall into the ocean. The want of navigable rivers, 
and the dry and often desert countries to be passed 
in Southern Africa in order to reach our isolated 
stations, present grievous barriers to the work of 
civilization, and in some parts we have got nearly 
to that point, at which resources from the south will 
be beyond the reach of the ability, either of the 
missionary or his people. 


Mission to the Griquas—Its origin and character—Devotedness of 
the Missionaries—Mr. Anderson’s description—Their former cha¬ 
racter—Progress in civilization—A threatened attack averted— 
Impolitic measure — Critical position—Mr. Anderson leaves— 
The Author joins Mr. Helm—Waterboer elected chief—His thirst 
for information—Origin of Bergenaars—Attacks on Griqua Town 
— Generous conduct—Missionary influence—Retributive provi¬ 
dence—Favourable change—Successes—Waterboer’s government 
■—Missioiiaries government agents—How far a missionary can 
interfere in civil affairs—Life saved—Sir A. Stockenstrom’s tes¬ 
timony—Treaties a wise policy—Chiefs defended—State and 

It is an agreeable and profitable exercise to take a 
retrospective view of those events, whatever their 
character, which have led to important results; and 
surely, to the mind of the missionary, it must be 
delightful to look back along the channel, tracing 
through all its windings the little rill of the water of 
life, until it is observed oozing from beneath a moun¬ 
tain peak. Like an African river, it now swells, 
and then dwindles, — is now rapid, then slowly spreads 
its refreshing waters over a large surface of desert 
waste, — now disappears, and then rises in another 
part of its course, in which it resumes a steady flow 
—affording, at all seasons, permanent fertility, to the 


advantage of those who assemble on its banks, or 
come within the range of its influence. 

The mind of the writer has been led to these re¬ 
flections by a minute survey of the rise and progress 
of the Griqua mission, which although embracing 
more variety in the national character of its objects 
than perhaps any other in Africa, exhibits much 
sameness; but nevertheless, its history, extending 
to more than forty years, presents us with some 
remarkable displays of Divine power in causing mis¬ 
sionary enterprise to triumph over no common diffi¬ 
culties. Its fluctuations have been very numerous, 
hut this is not surprising, when it is remembered that 
it was commenced at the Zak River, on the borders 
of the colony, in the year 1799 being one of the two 
branches of the Missionary Society’s first efforts in 
South Africa. It was in the beginning ostensibly a 
mission to the Bushmen, but it had not been long 
founded before it included within its operation both 
Hottentots and Bastards. Two years had not elapsed 
when its efforts were chiefly devoted to the Corannas, 
Namaquas, and Bastards on the Orange River, the 
missionaries having resorted thither on the invitation 
of Berend Berend. From these again a select party, 
though a mixed multitude, finally terminated a migra¬ 
tory life, by settling down at Griqua Town in 1804, 
with Messrs. Anderson and Kramer. 

Sometimes one missionary might he heard address¬ 
ing the few who understood Dutch; another, a con¬ 
gregation of Corannas ; and a third, a party of Bush¬ 
men, through interpreters. They were distinct tribes, 
having different languages, customs, and grades ot 
honour, from that of the descendant of the colonial 



farmer, to the very lowest state of degradation in the 
Bushmen. Their government, if they had any at all, 
was of a mingled character, comprising the patriar¬ 
chal, despotic, monarchical, aristocratic, and demo¬ 
cratic, each party having its claims, either of birth, 
power, number, or hereditary right; exhibiting all 
the phases of a tropical thunder cloud, which rolls in 
wild and black confusion, till it bursts forth, scatter¬ 
ing terror and death. 

It is not the intention of the writer to be a chron¬ 
icler of the events connected with the progress of 
this mission, or even to attempt an abridgment of 
the voluminous details which have been long pub¬ 
lished. His object is briefly to glance at its more 
prominent features and changes, and to trace the 
dealings of Divine providence and grace in sustaining 
those devoted missionaries, who taking their lives in 
their hands, and sallying forth far beyond the abodes 
of civilization, persevered, amid the rage and cupidity 
of a reckless rabble, in the self-denying duties of their 
holy calling, until they were crowned with triumphant 

This station required all the energies of the mis¬ 
sionary, as may be observed from the brief sketch 
already given of the character of the people, and their 
isolated condition in a lawless country. Their cir¬ 
cumstances, afflictions, and prospects, cannot be better 
described than in Mr. Anderson’s own words : —■ 

“When I went among the Griquas, and for some time after, they 
w^ere without the smallest marks of civilization. If I except one 
woman, (who had by some means got a trifling article of colonial 
raiment,) they had not one thread of European clothing among 
them: and their wretched appearance and habits were such as 

MR. Anderson’s description. 


might have excited in our minds an aversion to them, had we not 
been actuated by principles which led us to pity them, and served 
to strengthen us in pursuing the object of our missionary work ; 
they were, in many instances, little above the brutes. It is a fact, 
that we were among them at the hazard of our lives. This became 
evident from their own acknowledgments to us afterwards, they 
having confessed that they had frequently premeditated to take 
away our lives, and were prevented only from executing their pur¬ 
poses by what they now considered an Almighty Power. When 
we went among them, and some time after, they lived in the habit 
of plundering one another : and they saw no moral evil in this nor 
in any of their actions. Violent deaths were common; and I 
recollect many of the aged women told me their husbands had been 
killed in this way. Their usual way of living was truly disgust¬ 
ing, and they were void of shame ; however, after a series of hard¬ 
ships, which required much faith and patience, our instructions were 
attended with a blessing which produced a great change. The 
people became honest in their dealings ; they came to abhor those 
acts of plunder which had been so common among them ; nor do 
I recollect a single instance, for several years prior to their late 
troubles, which could be considered as a stain upon their character. 
They entirely abandoned their former manner of life, and decency 
and modesty prevailed in their families. When we first settled 
among them, we had some Hottentots with us from the Zak River. 
With their assistance we began to cultivate the ground about Riet 
Fonteyn ; but notwithstanding our exhortations, remonstrances, and 
example, the Griquas manifested the greatest aversion to such 
work, and appeared determined to continue their wandering and 
predatory habits. At the end of six months the Hottentots left us ; 
and our prospects, as to the future cultivation of the ground, be¬ 
came very gloomy. We determined, however, to abide by them ; 
and in wandering about with them we constantly endeavoured to 
impress upon their minds the superior advantages they would derive 
from cultivating the ground, and having fixed habitations. After a 
considerable time had elapsed, w^e prevailed upon them to try the 
experiment, and a commencement was made. This event was pre¬ 
ceded and followed by a great and visible improvement among 
them as a body. Considering the circumstances of the people, 
much land was cultivated at this time ; and in the following years 



the land under cultivation was much increased. I have seen the 
whole valley, from the Fountain to the Lions’ Den, which must 
include four square miles, covered with corn and barley. This 
refers to Griqua Town alone ; and the ground around the neigh¬ 
bouring fountains was in a similar state of improvement,” 

From other communications from Mr. A., it also 
appears, that as early as 1809, the congregation con¬ 
sisted of 800 persons, who resided at or near the 
station during the whole, or the greatest part of the 
year. Besides their stated congregations, they were 
surrounded by numerous hordes of Corannas and 
Bushmen, among whom they laboured. 

If we look at the state of moral turpitude in which 
the missionaries found that people, these results, it 
must be acknowledged, were very extraordinary. A 
threatened attack from a marauding horde of Kafirs, 
in 1810, was evidently averted, in answer to prayer. 
Mr. Jantz, the only missionary then on the place, 
with the good people, set apart a day for special sup¬ 
plication ; and they sent a pacific message and present 
to the Kafirs, after which they immediately retired. 

Mr. Jantz, whose whole conduct on this occasion 
seems to have been marked with the true spirit of 
piety, says, ‘‘Now we must leave it in the hands of 
the Lord, hoping to see his loving kindness in confirm¬ 
ing the work of our hand, and granting us a complete 
deliverance. This is my prayer, that we may be so 
firmly established by the Lord, that no enemy may be 
able to hurt this church ; for, as a kind father, he hath 
hitherto taken care of us ; so that, instead of com¬ 
plaint, we have cause for thankfulness, that the doc¬ 
trines of the Gospel, accompanied by the power of his 
Spirit, have had so much influence on some of our 



people, that by means of their Christian exhortation 
and example they have subdued the ungoverned spirit 
of the Kafirs.” 

The mission continued to flourish ; extending its 
benign influence for several years, till an unlooked- 
for event gave a shock, from which it did not soon 

It was not an unnatural supposition, that the go¬ 
vernment of the Cape, finding that the labours of the 
missionaries had been so beneficial in transforming a 
people who otherwise might have been, like Africaner, 
a terror to the Colony, and helped to drain its coffers 
in fruitless commandoes, would have tendered their 
assistance to the growing commonwealth, and afforded 
means of encouragement and protection in a country 
where they were exposed, as in the above case, to a 
foreign enemy. But this was not the policy of those 
days. In 1814, Mr. Anderson received an order from 
the Colonial Government to send down to the Cape 
twenty Griquas for the Cape regiment. Mr. A. was 
never, as he informed me, amidst all his trials, placed 
in so painful a situation. The only wonder was, that 
the people did not stone him when he made the pro¬ 
posal, to which duty compelled him. Was it possible 
that a people just emerging from barbarism, and 
scarcely able to defend themselves, would send twenty 
of their best men to serve at the Cape ? The result 
of non-compliance with this order was a threat from 
Government, and the introduction of a restrictive sys¬ 
tem, by which missionaries were prevented from cross¬ 
ing the northern boundary of the Colony. 

Mr. Anderson had hitherto been viewed by the 
Gri([iias as the founder and father of that mission, to 



whom they were all in the daily habit of looking up 
for counsel and advice in whatever had reference to 
their temporal as well as their spiritual interests. He 
had also been the means of communication between 
them and the Colonial Government, and was virtually 
an agent. The Griquas, from the above demand, ori¬ 
ginating, as they supposed, from this connexion, 
were embittered against Mr. A. His life was threat¬ 
ened ; and soon after a party withdrew from the mis¬ 
sion, which kept the people in a state of political 
ferment; and though a great majority remained, they 
were by no means cordial; so that Mr. Anderson 
found it necessary to withdraw, that his presence 
might not give the shadow of offence to the awakened 
jealousy of those among whom he had laboured with 
such signal success. 

In his farewell sermon he made the following terse 
and unique comparison: Formerly I went out and 
in among you as your father, your friend, and your 
guide; but now I am compelled to leave you, viewed 
by you as nothing better than a dry stalk of maize.” 
But, notwithstanding the bitterness of political strife 
and discontent in which he left them, they afterwards 
deeply mourned over their ingratitude. The writer 
having lived on the station, together with Mr. Helm, 
for nearly a year after Mr. A.’s departure, had innu¬ 
merable opportunities of witnessing how warmly they 
cherished the memory of one who had for twenty years 
laboured among them in circumstances of great priva¬ 
tion and affliction. He exemplified zeal and persever¬ 
ance, which were crowned with remarkable success ; 
and, doubtless, distant generations will venerate the 
names of Anderson and Kramer, as the founders of the 



Griqua mission. Although the mission was thus de¬ 
prived of the valuable labours of Mr. Anderson, Mr. 
Helm, his colleague, most efficiently supplied his 
place. Mr. H. was a man of considerable acquire¬ 
ments ; in whose character were blended, in an emi¬ 
nent degree, an unflinching faithfulness to the souls 
of men, and great meekness and humility. His graces 
had been long tried on a hard campaign, in a Coranna 
mission on the Orange River. 

The events now recorded, prove to a demonstra- 

of the missionary to take 
an active part in political affairs. In order to save 
the mission from ruin, it was necessary to make a 
vigorous stand against interference on the part of 
the missionaries with the government of the people. 
My appointed sojourn, as the coadjutor of Mr. Helm, 
was intended to assist in abolishing a system which 
had thus hurst asunder the sacred ties between pastor 
and people, and caused the removal of Mr. A. to a 
sphere of labour within the Colony. The task was 
a hard one, from the entire disorganization which ex¬ 
isted ; and the Directors justly remarked, in reference 
to that appointment, “ But it is painful to add, that 
the difficulties with which they have to contend from 
the irregular habits of many of the people, will 
require the greatest firmness, as well as the most 
persevering efforts to subdue.’’ These efforts were 
eventually crowned with success. The former chief, 
Adam Kok, late of Philippolis, had abandoned Griqua 
Town, and Berend Berend, the acknowledged chief, 
lived at Daniel’s Kuil, a distance of fifty miles, attend¬ 
ing only to the interests of those about him, and very 
rarely visiting Gricpia Town ; neither would he appoint 
a representative there. 

tion that it is not the duty 



For some months the affairs of the place looked 
like a ship’s company without helm or compass; and 
the consequences were sometimes serious, and fre¬ 
quently ludicrous. The hint was given, to appoint 
one of their own number to take the government of 
the village. The idea was eagerly embraced; the 
elders of the people met, and one would have thought 
that an elder would have been elected; but no, they 

unanimouslv voted Andries Waterboer to the office 


of chief. This was a decision which reflected the 
highest honour on the judgment of the Griquas, for 
the person on whom they had fixed their attention 
was one who possessed neither name nor riches. He 
had enjoyed advantages, having been educated on the 
station, under the eye of the missionaries; had been 
with others set apart as a native teacher, and had 
long been employed as an assistant in the school, 
where he was found on the very day of his appoint¬ 
ment. We had neither part nor lot in the matter, 
though it afforded us entire satisfaction. 

This was a new era in the Griqua mission, which 
brought it to a state so ardently desired; and the 
mission-houses, instead of being turned into a kind 
of council-chamber, were visited only by such as had 
cases of conscience to propose, or what had a refer¬ 
ence to the general welfare of the church of God. I 
might here make an exception. Andries, who was 
not prepared for this new station, soon felt the re¬ 
sponsibility of his office. He had no opportunities 
of studying the science of government from books, 
(Minos, Lycurgus, and Solon were names un¬ 
known to him !) and had heard little else than the 
principles of law, derived from the Bible, the best 
foundation for the laws of nations. He felt his defi- 



ciency, and thirsted for information; and for months 
together we spent several evenings a week, after it 
was supposed all were gone to rest, conversing on 
these subjects. 

Though I did little more than reply to his numer¬ 
ous inquiries, yet, having been placed there for the 
express object of lending my aid to abolish the old 
system, I naturally felt the task a delicate one. At 
the same time neither Mr. Helm nor I could see any 
impropriety in giving him what information we could 
on the history of nations, and their political economy. 
From this and other circumstances, he long retained 
a grateful sense of his obligations, and a warm friend¬ 
ship of many years ensued. 

The chief Waterboer at the commencement of his 
career was considered severe in his administration, 
when contrasted with that of former days, in which 
insubordination was allowed to take deep root. As 
might be expected, his strict discipline gave rise to 
divisions, sifting the Griquas of those who cared for 
neither law nor gospel. From these again arose Ber- 
genaars, or mountaineers and marauders, round whose 
standards Corannas and Bushmen rallied ; and finding 
no difficulty in obtaining contraband ammunition from 
the Colony, they carried devastation, blood and ra¬ 
pine among all the Bechuana tribes within their reach. 
Even on Griqua Town itself they made two desperate 
attacks, which, though happily attended with little 
loss of life on either side, justly excited much alarm 
in the mission families, surrounded as they were by 
ruthless desperadoes inured to violence and murder. 

It may be proper in this place to notice the origin 
of these attacks, as well as the circumstances of a pre- 



ceding one, on the inhabitants of Griqua Town, when 
Mr. Sass was the only missionary on the station. The 
chief Waterboer, in conjunction with J. Melvill, Esq.,* 
(now one of our missionaries,) anxious to put a stop 
to the devastations committed by the Bergenaars on 
the Basuto, and other Bechuana tribes, endeavoured 
to disperse the party. For this purpose their strong¬ 
holds were attacked ; and, though every species of w^ar- 
fare is to be deprecated as the world’s curse, the fol¬ 
lowing extract of a letter from Mr. Melvill to the 
Editor of the South Afiucan Chronicle, beautifully illus¬ 
trates the moral and civilizing tendency of the Gospel 
in relation to the Griquas. 

“The Griqua chiefs, A. Waterboer and Cornelius Kok, proceeded 
to the station of the Bergenaars, to take such measures as might put 
a stop to the system of depradation they were carrying on against 
the tribes around them. 

“ Instead of the Bergenaars showing any disposition to alter their 
conduct, they set the commando at defiance, and maintained that 
attitude till night came on with rain, when they made their escape. 
The commando returned to Griqua Town, with 4000 head of cattle, 
followed by some hundreds of the people of the plundered tribes, to 
whom a considerable part of the cattle belonged; and, before their 
arrival at Griqua Town, contrary to the practice of savage tribes, 
a scene of justice took place, which would have done credit to any 
civilized people. The chiefs restored to these poor people, Ba- 
sutos, all their cattle, without reserving a single hoof to themselves, 
to which any one of them could establish a right. When the people 
had got their cattle, they were told they might go to their own 
country; but they were so struck with the justice of the Griqua 
chiefs, that they begged to be allowed to put themselves under their 
protection; and accordingly they followed them to the Griqua 

To the preceding may be added the following facts, 

Mr. Melvill was at that time government agent. 



as they exhibit a pleasing evidence of missionary influ¬ 
ence in promoting peace. It was found necessary for 
Mr. Melvill and the Griqua chiefs, with some of their 
leading men, to visit Cape Town. Mr. Helm was on 
a visit to the same place, on account of his wife’s 
health. Mr. Sass, who had long laboured in Little 
Namaqua-land, and among the Corannas on the banks 
of the Orange River, was alone at the station when 
the Bergenaars came against the place for purposes 
of sheer revenge. On discovering that a missionary 
was there, they retired to a distance, and sent for him. 
The venerable Sass, who had been in labours abun¬ 
dant, entered the camp of the ruthless and lawless 
banditti. He had no sling, no stone. His weapons 
were from the armoury of heaven. His humble, de¬ 
vout, and persuasive address to the leaders of the 
gang calmed their rage, and saved the inhabitants 
from impending destruction. “ Here,” as Mr. Melvill 
writes, “we see a missionary has so much respect 
attached to his character, that even the Bergenaars 
would not attack the place because he was there : the 
presence of Mr. Sass afforded a protection to the whole 

The particulars of a subsequent attack on Griqua 
Town are minutely described in the Society’s Monthlij 
Chronicle for January, 1828 ; affording an additional 
instance of the station being preserved by the Divine 
blessing on missionary influence. 

But Griqua Town survived, by the blessing of God 
on the intrepid and persevering efforts of Waterhoer 
to establish the principles of order and peace. He has 
always continued to preach, as well as to exercise his 
office as a magistrate ; and though in the eyes of many 



this union of office is inexpedient, he has ever main¬ 
tained his cause ; and having obtained a liberal salary 
and ordnance supplies from the Colonial Government, 
he is able to present the Griquas in an aspect his 
enemies never contemplated. 

A retributive Providence accomplished that which 
Waterboer had neither men nor means to carry into 
effect; for he could neither punish the banditti to 
which his government gave rise, nor defend those who 
fell a prey to the fearful havoc they made on property 
and human life. After they had filled their cup. 
Heaven frowned on them; and those who escaped 
the war-club and javelin, disease swept away ; those 
who escaped both died in poverty, not only under the 
gnawings of hunger, but those of a guilty conscience; 
being deprived of that very property of which they 
had despoiled others ; while the bones of the majority 
lie bleached on many a barren waste, addressing the 
living in solemn language, He that taketh the sword 
shall perish by the sword.” The finger of God was so 
evident, that even the Griquas themselves could not 
help fearing that their former cruelties committed on 
the Bushmen would not go unpunished. 

These troubles did not subside till 1829, when the 
mission partially revived under the labours of Messrs. 
Wright and Hughes ; and since 1831, when it received 
a new impulse, it has continued to increase and ex¬ 
tend its influence around. Their efforts, as may 
be seen from the reports, have been blessed in no 
ordinary degree. Beside their own stated services, 
they employ six native teachers. Their congregations 
comprise Bechuanas, Griquas, Corannas, and Bush¬ 
men ; the first the most numerous, while the last are 



now, as may be gathered from the chapter on their 
origin, character and state, few and feeble. 

About seven years ago this mission became in¬ 
creasingly useful, from circumstances in themselves 
apparently adverse to its prosperity. Owing to the 
drought and consequent failure of the fountains, 
nothing could be done in agriculture in the village. 
The people were thus dispersed, and obliged to lead 
a migratory life in quest of food. This state of 
things led to itinerating and the employment of 
native agency on a larger scale. The Divine bless¬ 
ing has rested conspicuously on these efforts, and 
especially on numbers of the Bechuanas, who had, 
from the destructive attacks on their tribes in their 
own country, retired to the banks of the Vaal River, 
within the Griqua district. These were brought 

a way 

savingly converted to God, and are now able to read 
in their own language His wonderful works.* 

* The following information has come to hand since the article 
on the Griqua mission was prepared for the press, and cannot fail 
to interest. Mr. Helmore having been appointed to Likhatlong, a 
station of Bechuanas connected with the Griqua mission, 190 of 
their members were thus transferred to his care, and now form a 
distinct church. In the early part of last year, Mosheshe, chief of 
the Basutos, sent messengers to the chief Waterboer, informing him 
that as his people were now favoured with missionaries in their own 
country, it was his particular wish that all the Basutos in those parts 
should return home. AVaterboer having at once made it known 
that all that chose to do so, were at liberty to depart with their 
property, after having resided under his protection for seventeen 
years, a party of that people, about 100 souls, lately removed, 
among whom were 33 church members. This measure cannot fail 
of being an important acquisition to the French missionaries, as 
nearly all of them were able to read in their own language. After 

they knew not. Many of them have been 


waterboer’s government. 

I have thought it proper to be a little particular 
in reference to the origin and present state of the 
Griquas, who have been so signally preserved and 
blessed for forty years, and remain after so many 
conflicts a monument, while other stations, like the 
one which gave birth to theirs, are left desolate. 
Humanly speaking, Waterboer's government is on 
a basis too firm to be moved by a foreign foe, that 
is, so long as it supports by its influence the cause 
of God, and continues the faithful ally of the Cape 
colony. It is not without great reason, however, that 
many judicious persons deprecate the effects of what 
they consider an unhallowed union, in the mission¬ 
ary’s holding among the Griquas the office of Con- 
fidental Agent to the Colonial Government.” There 
may be apparent advantages arising from this mea¬ 
sure in accordance with the sentiments of those who 
hold up the benefit effected by missionary labours 
to be more of a political than a religious nature, and 
who maintain that it is far more convenient for 
Government than appointing distinct agents ; but the 
fact is, it has no warrant from Scripture, and the 
question is. What does experience say ? Let us take 
South Africa for an example. The preceding state¬ 
ments demonstrate that the cause of Mr. Anderson’s 
removal was his government agency; and though his 
not having had a precedent is an apology, the prin- 

tliese deductions, and including recent additions, the number of 
church members at Griqua Town is 520. The schools on the sta¬ 
tion have, under many discouraging circumstances, continued to 
prosper, and the Infant school under the care of Troy Vortuin, a 
native female of a respectable family, reflects great honour on her 
abilities and perseverance. 



ciple and the consequences of that agency cannot 
but be deprecated. 

Mr. Brownlee, our missionary in Kafir-land, was 
tlie next who trod on the slippery path, and resigned 
the office of missionary agent to Government, as in¬ 
compatible with the position of a missionary among 
heathen. Mr. Thompson of the Kat River, followed 
him with still less success. His “ political functions 
interfered very much with his religious duties.” He 
informed the writer that it nearly cost him his life, 
and he would by no means advise missionaries to as¬ 
sume any thing like a diplomatic character among the 
people of their spiritual charge.* More than twenty 
years’ experience among the aborigines beyond the 
boundary of the Colony, has convinced the writer 
that the two offices ought not to be held by the same 
person. Among the Bechuanas our lives have been 
placed in imminent danger from the suspicions ex¬ 
cited in their minds by Conrad Buys and others, that 
we were agents of government, or in some way or 
other connected with it. No missionary, however, 
can with any show of Scripture or reason refuse his 
pacific counsel and advice, when those among whom 
he labours require it, nor decline to become inter¬ 
preter or translator to any foreign power, or to he 

* The Rev. Stephen Kay, in his letter to Sir T. F. Buxton, on 
the Kafir-case, makes the following remark, which being the result 
of long observation, is worthy of regard. After some very whole¬ 
some hints on the subject of agency, he writes—“ I trust there¬ 
fore, that Government will never again think of committing the 
office of agency, amongst the Kafirs, to a missionary ; as it places 
missionaries in a position which might, by possibility, be construed 
into that of spies, and there would, in all probability, be an end put 
to their usefulness at once.” 



the medium of hushing the din of war arising either 
from family interests or national claims ; nor is it 
inconsistent with his character to become a mediator 
or intercessor where life is at stake, whether arising 
from ignorance, despotism, or revenge. I once seized 
the right arm of an enraged chief of no little power, 
who grasped a weapon, which, but for this interfer¬ 
ence, would have been plunged into the breast of 
a victim, who had grievously offended. I did no 
wrong, nor did the chief think so, for when the 
paroxysm was over he said to me, “ I thank yon, 
father.” A missionary may do all this, and more 
than this, without endangering his character, and 
what is of infinitely more importance, the character 
of the gospel he proclaims; but his entering into 
diplomatic engagements places himself, as well as 
the great object of his life, in jeopardy. 

That missionaries do obtain an influence among 
the tribes beyond, without any official interference, 
has been demonstrated along the whole line of the 
colonial boundary from the Atlantic, to the Fish 
Eiver on the east. Among other instances, the fol¬ 
lowing may be adduced as given by the honourable, 
now Sir A. Stockenstrom, in his evidence before 
the Aborigines Committee :— 

“ It strikes me that it is impossible to deny that the benefit thus 
conferred is incalculable. In 1832, I believe it was, that there was 
an inroad of a marauding horde of Corannas, Hottentots, and others, 
who were considered outlaws and independent of the Griqua tribes. 
They slaughtered indiscriminately several families, and plundered to 
a great extent; a strong expedition was sent against those people, 
but was unsuccessful. It was apparent to every man acquainted with 
the frontier, that if it had not been for the influence that the London 
missionaries had gained over the Griquas, we should have had the 



whole nation down upon ns. It was only the state of feeling pro¬ 
duced by that influence which prevented the Griquas from taking 
advantage of the exposed condition of the country, and the panic 
then existing, to give vent to their old animosities against the Co¬ 
lony, and overrun the northern half of it. Had they been without 
that helm—that influence, 1 say, of these missionaries, we should 
have had a strong tribe instead of a gang of robbers to contend 
with. We had no force to arrest them if they had. Now that 
those people are in that state to enable us to treat with them, I 
attribute altogether to the domesticated state to which they have 
been brought by the labours, and the confidence which they have in 
the advice of the missionaries, whose interest it is to preach peace.” 

Sir A. S. bears the same testimony to the benign 
and salutary results from the labours of the Wesleyan 
missionaries. These effects, to which such honour¬ 
able testimony is borne, we feel no hesitation in 
ascribing to the pure principles of the Gospel, which, 
wherever planted, nurtured, and matured under His 
reign, who has said, “My kingdom is not of this 
world/’ will always produce them ; and through 
which, as the chief Waterboer has declared, “ the 
Griquas have become a people, wdio were not a 

The course pursued by the Colonial Government 
in appointing an agent, as they did, in the person 
of J. Melvill, Esq., terminated in a treaty made with 
the chief Waterboer, by which he became an ally. 
This latter very important measure was entered into 
under the auspices of Sir Benjamin D’Urban, then 
Governor, and wdio, in addition to Waterboer’s salary, 
most liberally granted 50/. per annum to promote 
education among the Griquas. Well had it been for 
the country, if this arrangement had been made 
much earlier, for it \vould have enabled Waterboer 
to prevent much rapine and murder, which had 




devastated the country for seven or eight years pre¬ 
viously, during which time he could not even defend 
his own place, for want of suitable resources. Of 
this he was so sensible, that in the year 1830, on 
my way to Cape Town, he put into my hands a 
document expressing his desires on the subject, wdth 
an earnest request that I would use my influence 
for their accomplishment; this I did most cheerfully 
with Sir Lowry Cole, then Governor. 

It is a wise policy in Government, to render every 
facility to the advancement of knowledge and civi¬ 
lization among the aborigines, and especially to such 
as have, like Waterboer, exhibited in legible charac¬ 
ters the delightful results of missionary efforts, both 
in his conduct towards his own people, and the 
Colony to which he is allied; and we cannot but 
assure ourselves, that the friendly system now acted 
upon by Government, towards the chiefs on the 
frontier, will not only benefit the aborigines, but the 
Colony itself, and throw a halo of glory around the 
British throne.* 

* It has been said by one who ought to have a tolerably cor¬ 
rect knowledge of the state of the Northern frontiers, that all the 
chiefs in the country, with only one exception, “are heathens and 
marauders.” This is a sweeping charge, aud it would he an easy 
matter for the writer, who has not been an inattentive observer 
of the fluctuations of petty interests in tlie country for more than 
twenty years, to contradict it. He possesses ample matters of fact 
for a volume of reminiscences on this subject, and may, if he 
finds it necessary, resume his pen to give the history and the 
characters of both heathen and Christian chiefs and marauders. 
It is true, the missionaries, like the primitive church at Corinth, 
have not many noble, not many rich, of whom they can boast; 
yet there are chiefs, and promising sons of chiefs, who have 
laid their weapons of war at the feet of the Prince of Peace ; 
and we have only to glance over our missionary records to be 



It is deeply to be regretted, that the fountain at 
Griqua Town has almost ceased to flow, which has 
compelled the inhabitants to resolve on removing 
to the banks of the Yellow or Vaal River, where 
they hope to he able to lead out a stream, so as 
to irrigate a considerable portion of the country; 
and in furtherance of so noble a work, the “ Friends” 
in England have contributed liberally, through J. 
Backhouse, Esq. Should they succeed in this im¬ 
portant movement, about which they are sanguine, 
their circumstances will he immensely improved, for 
their abode at Griqua Town has long been very 
trying in a temporal point of view. But for this, 
it is possible that the Griquas might have realized 
the expectations of many of the Society’s constitu¬ 
ents, in supporting their own missionaries, which 
their advanced state of civilization, and liberal sup¬ 
port from Government, authorize them to anticipate; 
and it is sincerely to be hoped that this will he 
the first mission heyond the 
the noble example, especially as, according to Mr. 
Wright, the “ place possesses inexhaustible capabi¬ 

convinced of the transforming effects of the Gospel, even over 
chieftains, who, though strangers to the inward teachings of the 
Spirit of God, and notwithstanding the baneful example of 
some called Christians, before their eyes, instead of being “ ma¬ 
rauders,” have made sacrifices to promote peace around them, 
and shown mercy to those by whom they were formerly plun¬ 
dered. Not to mention Cornelius Kok, the chief of Campbell, 
whom the Bechuanas have been accustomed to recognize as one 
of their guardians ; Adam Kok, of Philippolis ; Mothihi, the chief of 
the Batlapis, and his sons, as also his brother INlahura ; Mosheshe, 
the chief of the Basuto, and others whose names might be mentioned, 
cannot, without a violation of truth, be designated marauders. 

p 2 

Colony which will set 


Retrospective view—The prospective—First visitors to the Be- 
chuanas—The chief Molehabangue—Messrs. Edwards and Kok 
—A dangerous expedient—Awful consequences—Honourable 
conduct in a heathen—Danger from Bushmen—The Bergover 
families—Murder of a father and daughter—A dreadful situation 
—A heart-rending scene—A party visit Lithako—A massacre— 
Dr. Lichtenstein’s visit—Cowan and Denovan—Dr. Burchell’s 
travels—DilRculties in the language—Mr. Campbell’s cheering 
prospects—Missionaries sent to Lithako—Interview with the 
king — Missionaries rejected — Gloomy reflections — Causes of 
failure—Mr. Evans relinquishes the mission. 

We have now partially traversed the different por¬ 
tions of southern Africa, in which our missionaries 
have laboured with varied successes, among the 
Kafirs, Bushmen, Namaquas, and Griquas. In our 
perambulations, our hearts have been alternately the 
seat of sorrow and of joy. We have mingled our 
sympathies with those who were called to bear the 
heat and the burden of the day. We have heard 
them lamenting that they had laboured in vain, and 
spent their strength for nought; and we have seen 
them weeping over immortal souls, who, after having 
been brought within sight of the haven of eternal 
rest, despising the day of their visitation, have pe- 



rished. We have united in our ascriptions of praise 
to the Author of all good with those who, though 
they went forth weeping and praying with painful 
solicitude, have heen privileged to come again, 
bringing their sheaves with them. We have entered 
the kraal of the filthy and lazy Hottentot, and have 
witnessed the transforming influence of the Gospel 
effecting a change in his character and state, which 
neither the might nor the policy of an empire could 
achieve. We have known beings of so low a grade, that 
at one time it was seriously questioned whether they 
belonged to the human family; but aroused by the 
voice of love, and drawn by the attractions of the 
Cross, we have seen them rising from the abyss of 
degradation, entering into the holy of holies to 
hold communion with their God, and then in com¬ 
munion with their fellow Christians we have heard 
them say, ‘‘ Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” 
We have known him whom we were wont to regard 
with fearful apprehension, as a lion in his lair roaring 
for his prey, and spreading devastation around, ar¬ 
rested, humbled, and subdued, without a sword or 
spear. At one time he was the scourge and the 
terror of the country ; but he became the advocate 
of peace, and the bond of union. We have heard 
the Kafir warrior tuning his hoarse voice, not to 
celebrate the sanguinary deeds, and to rehearse the 
barbarous soliloquies of his ancestors, hut in songs 
sweeter far than even the hymn of Sikana, who was 
the first Christian Kafir poet. We have also seen 
the 'civilizing effects of the Gospel on the wandering 
Coranna and Griqua, of whom it may he affirmed, 
that though they were without a country or a name, 
thev are now numbered amongst the tribes ; and 



that though they were not a people, they have be¬ 
come a people. 

Leaving these scenes of deep interest, and which 
deserve to be depicted by an abler hand than mine, 
we now, in accordance with the spirit of the mis¬ 
sionaries’ watchword, onward,” advance beyond 

these little hills of Zion, to wider fields of missionary 



We now proceed to inquire into the results of 
spreading the knowledge of the word of God amongst 
a people distinguished, by many peculiarities in their 
character and circumstances, from most of those 
described. Unaccustomed to the control of other 
powers, and living at a great distance from the 
confines of civilized society, they were remarkable 
for their barbarous independence and national pride. 
Missionary efibrts in these districts are of compara¬ 
tively recent origin ; and though the results of those 
efforts are such as to command lively gratitude, as 
well as to encourage enlarged expectations, our 
course now brings us within the shadow of those 
rolling clouds of darkness, covering an immense 
extent of territory, on which a ray of heavenly light 
has never dawned. 

Nothing was known of the existence of the Be- 
chuanas, as a people, distinct in many respects from 
the Kafirs, beyond mere report, until they were 
visited by a colonist, with a party on a predatory 
expedition. This was at an early period of the 
history of the Colony. The attack and robbery 
having been brought before the Colonial Govern¬ 
ment, a considerable time elapsed before they were 
again visited by these white plunderers (as they de¬ 
scribed them) from the south. The next visit was 



from the marauder Bloom, a Dutch farmer. He 
was accompanied by a considerable number of similar 
characters, who committed sad havoc on the herds 
and flocks of the Bechuanas, butchering great num¬ 
bers of the comparatively defenceless inhabitants. In 
the year 1801, Somerville and Truter, who visited the 
missionary station on the Orange River, for the pur¬ 
pose of obtaining cattle for the government by barter, 
were led, from the information there obtained, to visit 
the Batlapis and Batlaros, the two nearest tribes of 
the Bechuana nation, for the same object. This visit 
made a very favourable impression, as to the character 
and disposition of the Bechuanas, on the minds of 
these gentlemen. 

A short time before this, two missionaries had 
taken up their residence on the banks of the Ku- 
ruman River, near which the Batlapis and others 
were then livins: under the chief or king Moleha- 
bangue, who appears, from universal testimony, 
to have been a superior man, distinguished both 
as a statesman and a warrior. His kindness to 
strangers was also proverbial, a trait of character 
not always very conspicuous among savages. It was 
under the reign of this personage that Messrs. Ed¬ 
wards and Kok settled in the Bechuana country, for 
the ostensible purpose of preaching the Gospel to 
the natives, but it does not appear that they were ever 
able to effect anything among that people. When 
our missionaries, Evans and Hamilton, went to Lat- 
takoo, or Lithako, thirty miles north-east of the 
Kuruman River, in reference to whom Mothibi said 
to Mr. Campbell, ‘‘ Send missionaries, and I will be 
a father to them,” this king with his council di¬ 
rected them to the Kuruman River, there to take up 



their quarters, and carry on barter and trade as Kok 
and Edwards had formerly done. Though the latter 
remained several years in the country, they never 
appear, from all I could learn of the elder natives, 
who were intimately acquainted with their proceed¬ 
ings, to have given themselves out as instructors of 
the people. A mission at such a distance necessarily 
required considerable support, which was not at 
that time afforded to them, so that they were com¬ 
pelled to be dependent on their flocks and herds, 
and barter, to support themselves and families. 
This practice may at first appear very plausible, 
but in most instances it has proved detrimental 
to the interests of missions ; for the mind, always 
prone to earth, is imperceptibly led astray from 
its grand object by a lucrative auxiliary. On this 
rock these men appear to have struck, and both 
were wrecked. They lived on the Kuruman River, 
at a considerable distance from each other, as they 
were never harmonious ; and instead of being in the 
midst of the people, their residences were several 
miles from the town of Molehabangue. They visited 
the Colony and Cape Town when they had realized a 
sufficient quantity of ivory and cattle to be disposed 
of to advantage. Edwards even went for this pur¬ 
pose as far as the Bauangketsi, a powerful nation 
north of the Molapo River, and having amassed a 
handsome sum, and long forsaken his God, he left 
the country, retired to the Colony, purchased a farm 
and slaves, and is now, or was some years since, a 
hoary-headed infidel. I write what I know, having 
reasoned with him on the subject, when he treated 
my arguments with indignity and scorn. What is 
man when left to himself! 



A different, though melancholy fate awaited Kok. 
He is reported to have been a devout man ; and 
that which occasioned his death does not neces¬ 
sarily imply a dereliction of duty. One morning, 
when going to his folds to survey his flocks, two 
of his men with guns waylaid him, and shot him 
dead upon the spot. These men were Bechuanas 
belonging to Molehabangue, who complained of 
some grievance, in reference to remuneration for 
their last journey to the Cape. The king, on 
hearing of the fatal deed, ordered his son Mothibi 
to seize the murderers. As soon as they were se¬ 
cured, he sent a message to the widow, requesting 
her to he the executioner, employing the same kind 
of weapon with which they had killed her husband. 
Although deeply afflicted, she could not but admire 
the zeal with which the prince was determined to 
punish the criminals ; nevertheless, she begged to he 
excused having a hand in the retribution, at the same 
time expressing her thankfulness for the active part 
he had taken in the affair, and for the assurances he 
had given her of his protection, and sympathy, and 
respect. Kok was buried at Gasigonyane, close by 
the spot where the great fountain of that name issues 
from a mass of rugged rocks. The murderers suf¬ 
fered the extreme penalty of the Bechuana law, 
which, like that of most other nations, is death; and 
so anxious was Molehabangue to assure those that 
stood the nearest connected with the Colony, of his 
indignation at the affair, that he sent messengers to 
Griqua Town, to relate the facts of the case. Mo- 
thihi, his son, often, in the course of familiar conver¬ 
sation with the writer, has referred to the event, and 



the part which he, as prince, then took in punishing 
the offenders. 

While Edwards and Kok were in that country, 
two additional labourers were sent out by the Dutch 
Missionary Society; but from the hopeless prospect 
of usefulness, under the existing state of things, 
they abandoned that field of labour, and returned 
to the Colony. The residence of Kok and Edwards 
among such a people, without being thoroughly 
identified with them, was necessarily attended with 
risk, and demanded no common share of personal 
courage. Travelling also was dangerous, from the 
Bushmen, who had kept up a constant predatory 
warfare with the Bechuanas from time immemorial, 
and upon whom they wreaked their vengeance when¬ 
ever an occasion offered. Kok and his attendants 
took no part in these outrages, but this did not ex¬ 
empt them from the inveterate hostility of the Bush¬ 
men,—an hostility exercised against all who possessed 
herds or flocks, as the following heart-rending cata¬ 
strophe will prove. Kok was accompanied by two 
brothers, Griquas, of the name of Bergover, who 
afforded him not only society but assistance. When 
Kok visited Cape Town, these two remained behind, 
but for some reasons thought proper soon after to 
follow him with sixty head of cattle, and a quan¬ 
tity of elephants’ teeth, which they had obtained by 
barter. On the third day after leaving the Kuru- 
man, they were joined by a few Bushmen, who re¬ 
ceived from them the offals of game which had been 
killed. The oxen, however, they possessed, excited 
their cupidity, and tempted the Bushmen to lay plans 
for their seizure. The Bergover party consisted of 


two men able to bear arms, their mother, their waves 
and fourteen children. The Griquas soon had reason 
to suspect the designs of their visitors, by little pro¬ 
vocations which their prudence had hitherto over¬ 
ruled. One morning, when the two brothers were 
working at a little distance from each other, and while 
one was stooping, in the act of repairing the wagon 
pole, a Bushman thrust him through with his spear. 
His daughter, eight years of age, seeing her father 
hill, uttered a shriek, when she, too, was transfixed 
with a spear by another. The other Griqua, hearing 
the alarm, and beholding his brother prostrate in his 
blood, rushed furiously on the eight Bushmen, who 
fled. He hurled a small hatchet, which he had in his 
hand, at the murderers, then seizing his gun, fired, 
and wounded one in the shoulder; but all escaped, 
leaving their bows and arrows behind them. Dis¬ 
tracting beyond measure must have been the situation 
of the sufferers, with only one individual to defend 
them, for days, while passing through the country of 
those who were sure to renew the attack with in¬ 
creasing numbers. , They removed from their frail 
w^agon the ivory, wdiich they concealed in the ground. 
They placed in the w^agon the corpses of their slaugh¬ 
tered relatives, with a view to their being interred 
during the night, to prevent their being treated with 
that indignity which the Bushmen often offer to the 
bodies of the slain. The next morning they con¬ 
tinued their flight, with hearts beating at tbe sight of 
every distant object which appeared like a human 
being; for Bushmen were descried on the heights 
watching the progress of the weeping and terriiied 
band. Another night passed on the plain, a slec})less 
night, except to the infants unconscious ol tlieir 



danger. Next day, passing a thicket of acacias, a 
shower of poisoned arrows fell around them, like hail¬ 
stones, some of which slightly wounded several of 
the children. Bergover fired his gun, and they fled, 
but the attack was resumed. Thus he continued, 
with the assistance of his boy, urging on his oxen; 
and though several of them fell under the poisoned 
arrows, they were quickly replaced by others. In 
the act of unyoking them, he and his son were both 
wounded, himself severely; nevertheless, the father 
continued to defend his children and herds. The 
gloomy night again set in, with the prospect of all 
being butchered. The morning dawned on them, 
and witnessed the closing scene of a catastrophe, at 
which even those inured to savage life must shudder. 
Greater numbers of Bushmen appeared, assailing the 
wagon on all sides; and the moment the father 
fired his gun, all directed their arrows at the only 
individual capable of resistance, and to whom the 
agonized mothers and children could look for help. 
They looked in vain; severely wounded, he staggered 
to the wagon, while the Bushmen seized the oxen, 
and drove them off, with the shout of victory. The 
wounds were fatal, recollection failed, the words died 
away on the weeping widow’s ear, and in the course 
of an hour Bergover ceased to breathe. Here they 
were, far from human aid; three women and thirteen 
helpless children, their only friend and defender being 
a ghastly corpse. The axletree of their wagon was 
broken, and Bushmen were still hovering around, 
eager to despatch their victims, and seize the remain¬ 
ing draught-oxen which still stood in the yoke. 
Three days and nights of anguish had now passed, 
without either food or rest. This was a period of 


terror and despair; weeping mothers encompassed by 
wounded, distracted, and fatherless children, could 
only lift up their voices to God in prayer; and at 
that moment, deliverance the most unexpected was 
approaching. The melting scene which followed, 
cannot he better described than in the language of 
an eye-witness, Dr. Lichtenstein, whose description 
accords exactly with that which I received from the 
lips of one of the surviving widows. 

“ The traveller having been joined by Kok, on his way to the 
Kuriiman, and seeing the tilt of a wagon at a distance, writes, 
‘ We hastened up to the wagon, and reached it before we were 
observed by any of the party ; at the moment we came up, one 
of the women seeing us, uttered a loud and piercing shriek, and 
falling prostrate on the earth before Kok, embraced his knees in a 
tumult of agony. In an instant after, the children ran towards us, 
crying, sobbing, and lamenting, in the most piteous manner, so 
that it was some time before my worthy companion, down whose 
cheeks tears were streaming, had power to ask the unfortunate 
woman where her husband was. For a while, renewed sobs were 
the only answer he could obtain. We looked up, and saw, a few 
paces from us, a boy about twelve years of age, making a grave 
with an old iron axe, and near him, lying on the ground, the body 
of his father, wrapped in a mat. ‘ The Bushmen have murdered 
him !’ exclaimed the unfortunate lad, and letting his axe drop, he 
broke out into the most bitter cries and lamentations.’” 

From the preceding melancholy tale, some idea 
may be formed of travelling through a country inha¬ 
bited by Bushmen, to whom the traveller is entirely 
unknown, and who, driven to desperation by the 
o})pression and spoliation of their more powerful 
neighbours, take the law into their own hands, and 
often retaliate on the unoffending and defenceless. 

At a period anterior to tliese events, attempts had 



been made to open an intercourse with theBechuanas, 
ostensibly for purposes of barter; but being gener¬ 
ally conducted by such characters as justly excited 
the jealousy of the people, they often led to tragical 
consequences. The following may serve as a speci¬ 
men, among many others which might be selected, 
of the w^ay in which such intercourse was carried on. 
A party of some enterprise, consisting chiefly of 
Bastards, entered the interior by Great Namaqua-land. 
They were well armed, mounted on oxen, and had 
some women with them. When they left, they re¬ 
solved not to return without a fortune. Pursuing 
their course a great distance, along the western boun¬ 
dary of the Southern Zahara, and favoured with a 
rainy season, they directed their steps east and south¬ 
east, till they reached the bed of the Mosheu Biver, 
where they found some cattle outposts belonging to 
the Bechuanas, under Molehabangue, then residing 
at Lithako (the Lattakoo of Mr. Campbell.) Having 
nothing to offer in exchange, they supplied them¬ 
selves with what they liked ; took some of the cattle, 
despatched those who resisted their depredations, and 
pursued their course for some days along the river. 
They reached the metropolis of that part of the 
country, where the tidings of the robbery had arrived 
before them ; and the inhabitants had the mortifi¬ 
cation of beholding two or three of their pack-oxen 
in the possession of the marauders. Of course, no 
notice was taken, and more than usual courtesy was 
exhibited towards the ragamuffin visitors, who, in 
order to keep up an appearance of an abundant quan¬ 
tity of ammunition, which in reality was exhausted, 
had filled some bags with sand to deceive the natives. 
When the appetites of the guests had been whetted, 



and the ^Yhole party were anxious for a revel in beef, 
two oxen were presented to them. One of them being 
extremely wild, (which was part of the stratagem,) 
taking fright at the appearance of the motley group, 
darted off, when all pursued, eager to secure their fat 
and tempting prey. This was the moment for revenge, 
and at a given signal several were speared at once. 
The others rallied, and retreated to one of the stone 
folds ; but having scarcely any powder and shot, they 
made hut a feeble resistance. Mercy in vain was 
asked, no quarter was given ; and night put a close 
to the struggle, when the Bechuanas lay down by 
fires, surrounding their intended victims, as they usu¬ 
ally do, even on the field of battle, and slept. Those 
of the travellers who were not wounded, aided by 
the darkness of the night, made their escape, and 
directed their course southward, as the Colony was in 
that direction. At day-light the women and wounded 
were all despatched ; and those who had escaped were 
pursued for three successive days, with the deter¬ 
mination to exterminate the whole party. They had 
well nigh succeeded, for one only out of about fifty, 
covered with wounds, reached the waterfall at the 
Orange River, there to relate the horrible catastrophe 
which they had drawn upon themselves, and to raise 
the hue-and-cry against the Bechuanas, as savages 
of no common degree of barbarism. 

Dr. Lichtenstein was the first traveller who visited 
the Batlapis, having with him Mr. Kok, who had lived 
some time with that people ; and he was able at that 
early period, 1805, to give a tolerably accurate ac¬ 
count of their habits and customs. His specimens 
of their language, though assisted by Kok, do credit 
to his ear. During his stay, wdiich was short, he 



received every demonstration of kindness from Mole- 
habangue, who with his people resided at that time 
near the Kuruman River. 

The next travellers who visited these regions, were 
Dr. Cowan and Captain Denovan, who had a respect¬ 
able and efficient party, with two wagons, under the 
auspices of the English Government, in the year 1807. 
The object of the expedition was, to pass through 
the Bechuana country, and penetrate to the Portu¬ 
guese settlements near Mosambique. They passed 
successfully through the various tribes of Batlapis, 
Barolongs, Bauangketsi, and Bakuenas,"^ and perished 
at no great distance from the eastern coast, but by 
what means, has never been ascertained. When 
the writer was in the Bakuena country, about 300 
miles north-east of Lithako, he met an individual 
who had accompanied the expedition as a guide to 
a river, from description supposed to be the Sofala, 
where he stated he left them; they intending to 
cross the stream, and proceed along its course to the 

In the year 1812, Dr. Burchell visited that country, 
and pushed his scientific and persevering researches 
as far as Chue, a considerable distance north-west 
of Lithako ; and it was the intention of that enter¬ 
prising traveller to advance much farther into the 
interior, and even to pass through the Kalagare 
desert, to Kongo, the Portuguese settlement on the 
west coast; but he found it impossible to persuade 
any of his attendants to accompany him, and was 
therefore obliged to desist. BurcheH’s Travels are 
by far more correct and interesting than any thing of 
the kind which has been written ; and his drawings, 
* The latter call themselves Bakone. 

DR. BURCHELl’s travels. 


as well as his descriptions of the native character, 
are exceedingly graphic. AVhile his successful re¬ 
searches in the field of botany reflect great credit on 
his patience, abilities, and judgment, his strictures 
on the Sechuana language show him to have been a 
diligent student, possessing an accurate ear. Had I 
possessed the work when engaged in forming a system 
of orthography, by reducing the language to writing, 
I should have derived great assistance from it ; hut 
having met with it only since my return to this 
country, I have been much struck with the remark¬ 
able coincidence of our ideas, while reducing the 
Sechuana to a written language. Great allowance, 
however, ought to be made for the mistakes of early 
travellers in writing names and words, for nothing 
hut long labour and observation can enable any one 
to catch distinctly the different sounds of what ap¬ 
pears to proceed from a simple expression of the 
voice. Such individuals are often misled by inter¬ 
preters who have hut a very partial knowledge them¬ 
selves, and what they have is merely picked up in a 
casual way, and without any regard to grammatical 
principles. This is very evident in the writings and 
communications of those who have visited the coun¬ 
try, and it appears that each traveller and missionary 
adopted new names, which differed widely from those 
who had gone before, and who were the most correct. 
It is, however, difficult to explain why persons as¬ 
sociating with the Bechuanas should write Bootshu- 
anas, Boschuanas, Botchuanas, and Moschuanas ; 
Lattakoo for Lithako ; Krooman for Kuruman ; Ma- 
teehe and Matevi for Mothibi ; and Bacha])ins and 
Machapis for Batlapis ; and Bacharacjuas for Jkitlaros, 
etc. The sound of f/, nearlv like the Welsh //, is 




omitted, as well as the guttural, by Englishmen, who 
find a difficulty in pronouncing them ; and this may 
possibly account for the absence of these sounds in 
the names they attempt to render; but this subject 
will be resumed in the chapter on language, etc.^ 

* As many words in the Sechuana language will necessarily 
occur in this and the following chapters, a few remarks on the 
orthography may be found useful to those who would, wish to pro¬ 
nounce them correctly. The a is sounded like a in father ; e like e 
in clemency ; e w ith an accent, like ai in hail; i like ee in leek, or 
ee in see; o like o in hole ; u like u in rule : the y is always used as 
a consonant. These vowels are long or short according to their p)o- 
sition in the word. Ch, represented in Bechuana hooks by the 
Italian c, is sounded like ch in chance ; y is a soft guttural; gJi, th, 
Jch, are strong aspirates ; tl, like the Welsh ll preceded by a t; ng, 
which is represented in the written language by the Spanish w, has 
the ringing sound of ng in sing. This outline will enable any one 
to read the Sechuana language wdth tolerable correctness. It may 
be proper to remark here, that the national name of the people is 
Bechuana, which is simply the plural of Mochuana, a single indivi¬ 
dual. Sechuana is an adjective, and is accordingly applied to de¬ 
signate any thing belonging to the nation. A u Use Sechuana ? Do 
you know Sechuana ? language being understood. From these 
words all the different names which have been given to that people 
took their rise. They are called Briquas by the Hottentot tribes, 
from Brin^ a goat, and qua, a people ; either from their partiality to 
goats, or from one principal part of their raiment being made from 
the skin of the kid. Errors in such names are very easily accounted 
for. Dutch speakers not being able readily to pronounce the ch, 
make it s, and thus Boosuanas ; while the natives are so conde¬ 
scending in this respect to strangers, that how absurd soever his 
pronunciation, they will imitate it with great precision, and applaud 
him for his skill. I have frequently been amazed to hear how 
promptly they will abandon all the rules and euphony of their lan¬ 
guage, turning it to a perfect jargon, in order to be understood by 
those who are comparatively ignorant. The language is soft and 
mellifluous, every w'ord ending with a vowel, excepting nouns in 
the ablative case, plural verbs, verbs definite, and the interrogatives 
w'hy, how, and what, all of which end with the ringing h. 

MR. Campbell’s cheering prospects. 227 

From the time the Griqua Town mission was 
commenced, and even prior to that period, parties 
of Beclmanas had occasional intercourse with them 
for purposes of barter ; and they entertained a high 
regard for the Kok family^ on account of important 
services rendered to them by the late Cornelius, the 
father of that family. AVhen they were suffering 
from the depredations made by Bloom and other 
marauders, this noble-minded man disinterestedly 
espoused their cause, and put a stop to the destruc¬ 
tive inroads of these desperadoes. 

The simple and faithful narrative which the late 
Bev. John Campbell gives of his travels in South 
Africa has long been justly admired. Having occasion 
to visit the different missionary stations, as the agent 
and representative of the London Missionary Society, 
accompanied by Mr. Read and several Griquas^, he 
visited Lithako, and was cordially welcomed by the 
Bechuanas, Mothihi, the chief of the Batlapis, and 
other tribes. To come in contact with a people so 
superior, and open a path to one of the most inter¬ 
esting and populous fields of missionary labour, was 
an object worthy of the man. Mr. Campbell’s object 
was not scientific research. His aim was still higher 
—the promotion of that cause of which science is 
hut the handmaid. To cast his eyes over a field so 
inviting,—to hear the buzz of thousands of immortal 
beings, and, above all, the declaration of the chief, 
“ Send missionaries,—I will be a father to them 
this was one of the happiest moments in the life of 
a man whose whole soul was engaged in an enter¬ 
prise which had a special reference to the welfare 
of the poor degraded African, and the spread of the 


Redeemer’s cause throughout the world. Every event 
in that important journey authorized the most san¬ 
guine expectations on the part of Mr. C.^ and he 
viewed that as the most interesting period of his 
valuable life, the prelude to a new era in the history 
of our African missions. After a circuitous course 
eastward from Lithako, he returned to Griqua Town, 
and proceeded to Namaqua-land, to which reference 
has already been made; and, after accomplishing his 
important and successful journey, he returned to 
England. His graphic and deeply interesting details 
produced a thrilling effect on the minds of the 
Christian public, who gave ample proof of their 
estimate of his labours and travels by their increased 
liberality towards the objects of missionary societies 
in general, and the mission to the Bechuanas in 

In 1815, Messrs. Evans, Hamilton, Williams, and 
Barker, left England, to proceed directly to Lithako, 
and with the most sanguine hopes of a hearty wel¬ 
come from the proffered paternal care of Mothibi, 
who they were led to believe would dance for joy 
on their arrival. With these animating prospects, 
Messrs. Evans and Hamilton left Bethelsdorp, Mr. 
Barker having remained behind in the Colony, and 
Mr. Williams preferring an opening to Kafir-land. 

On their reaching Griqua Town, they were kindly 
received and encouraged by the brethren of that 
station. The late Adam Kok of Philippolis, Jan 
Hendreck, and others, as interpreters, and as men 
of influence with the Bechuanas, determined to ac¬ 
company them to Lithako. This was the more 
desirable, as the Bechuanas, though heathens, having 



received signal services from Kok’s father, greatly 
respected him, who was an excellent character, 
possessed of sound judgment, and amiable disposi¬ 

They reached the metropolis of that part of the 
country on the 17th of February 1816 ; and the 
whole party, with their wagons, were admitted into 

the public square, when Mothihi, with many of his 
people, came up and shook hands with them. Mo- 
thibi’s first question to A. Kok was, “What have 
you brought for barter This was very natural 
for people who could not be supposed to have any 
thing like correct notions of the real object of the 
missionaries. It nevertheless appeared that their 
minds were made up on the subject; for, when in¬ 
formed of their object, and that they were the men 
promised by Mr. Campbell, chagrin marked the 
countenance of Mothihi, and strong tokens of dis¬ 
approbation were evinced by the subordinate chiefs. 
This was a comfortless reception for those who had 
made a long voyage; passed tedious and fatiguing 
months of gipsy life, in a desert and dangerous road; 
and had now reached the spot on which all their 
affections and hopes had centred, as the scene of 
future labour! In the evening, Kok, in a more 
formal way, introduced the missionaries to the king, 
when they presented to him the gifts of tobacco and 
beads which they had brought for that purpose; 
and Mahuto, the queen, also came in for a share. 
This was quite enough “to sweeten the heart,” as 
the natives express it. At this favourable juncture, 
when they were exercised with uncertainty as to the 
result, and their desires were raised to the Cod in 



whose hands are the hearts of all men, Kok again 
stated their object, and referred to the promise made 
by the king to Mr. Campbell. He answered, They 
may come, and protect me ; but they want water, 
much water.” Then, directing their attention to the 
Kuruman River, he immediately proceeded to con¬ 
verse on other subjects. He was again reminded 
that Mr. Hamilton was a worker in wood, and that 
another missionary was on the way who was a 
smith, and could make hatchets, etc. This state¬ 
ment evidently afforded him satisfaction, and he 
observed, at the same time, to Kok, that he could 
not think of refusing persons recommended by him. 
He still hesitated, however, cordially to approve of 
their wish to reside with him, his excuse being, 
“ There is no water, there are no trees; the people 
have customs, and will not hear.” He was assured 
that the missionaries only desired to remain in order 
to communicate instruction to those willing to receive 
it. After a couple of days’ intercourse, during which 
they could elicit nothing satisfactory, the king at 
one time assenting, then promising, and then can¬ 
celling, he at length appealed to his people, of whose 
judgment in the affair he said he would approve, 
repeating his wish that the missionaries would go 
and reside on the Kuruman river, and traffick with 
them, as Edwards and Kok had done, but that they 
should on no account teach the people. Mothibi 
then addressed his subjects thus: Speak your 

minds. When the men were at the other place,” 
viz., Messrs. Campbell and Read, “you remained 
silent, and when they departed you blamed me.” 
Many of the people then exclaimed, “ The missionaries 


23 J 

must not come hereand the king responded, 
The missionaries must not come here !” 

The Kuruman River being upwards of thirty miles 
distant, and the country without inhabitants, they 
had no alternative but to return to Griqua Town, 
and thus was changed into more than the gloom of 
sadness, the pleasing prospect which the missionaries 
had, during their journey, painted in such glowing 
colours ;—a king their nursing father—a people will¬ 
ing to receive the heavenly boon—overflowing audi¬ 
ences, in temples erected to Jehovah—the buzz of 
infant voices vibrating in the missionary’s ear in the 
crowded school-room ; and the healing streams of the 
water of life fertilizing the moral desert around. 
Instead of receiving gifts, as a means of promoting 
their temporal comfort, which, as the messengers of 
peace, whose object it was to impart the blessings of 
eternal life, they might have expected, they were sur¬ 
rounded by a host of importunate beggars, rich and 
poor, worrying them for tobacco and other articles ; 
and as if determined to demonstrate their alliance to 
those who persecuted our Lord and his servants, the 
barbarous people followed these rejected heralds of 
salvation, as they re-yoked their wagons and departed 
from the place, with hooting and derisive vocifera¬ 
tions, ‘‘ Away with the white people,” etc. With 
sorrowful hearts they retraced their weaiy steps over 
the waste-howling wilderness, in which there were 
few charms to engage, or in any degree to relieve their 
minds from the dark and heart-rending scenes which 
they had left behind, and which threw a shadow more 
gloomy still, on minds alive to the awful consequences 
of shaking off the dust of tlieir feet against a ciiy con- 


taining many thousands of immortal beings. They 
mused on the mystery not uncommonly attached to 
the ways of Him, who, though too wise to err, has 
His footsteps in the sea, and His path in the mighty 
waters. It may be profitable to trace the cause of 
this unexpected and mortifying reception, to its true 
source, as it exhibits to our view, how vigilant are the 
powers of darkness, when they witness their kingdom 
which, for a lapse of ages, has been kept in peace, 
about to be assailed by those who are appointed to 
break down their strongholds, and erect the standard 
of Him whose right it is to reign : and how good is 
often brought out of evil by Him, whose judgments 
are revealed even among the heathen. 

Before the missionaries visited Lithako, C. Buys, to 
whom reference was made in treating on the mission to 
Kafir-land, had removed to the vicinity of the Yellow 
and Hart Rivers, and had intercourse with the Bechu- 
anas. Into their minds he diffused his principles, 
which were hostile to the Colonial Government, and 
succeeded in making willing converts. Among them 
was Mothibi’s brother. This man was at Lithako 
while the missionaries were there, and it was through 
his influence that they were rejected. This same 
person, in returning to the Hart River, probably to 
announce to Buys his success in opposing the settle¬ 
ment of the teachers at Lithako, was shot dead by 
the poisoned arrows of the Bushmen. After this 
enemy was removed, it appears that Mothibi felt 
more favourably towards those whom, with some de¬ 
gree of hesitation, he had refused as residents with 
his people. Messrs. Hamilton and Evans were still 
waiting at Griqua Town for an opening ; and in one 



of their itinerating journeys, they were told the king 
now seemed willing to receive them. This influenced 
them to make another journey to Lithako, but Mo- 
thibi, with about 1200 of his men, being absent for a 
month, they were compelled, by want of provisions, 
to return. Although their prospect had now begun 
to brighten a little, Mr. Evans, on returning to Gri- 
(|ua Town, Relinquished the mission altogether, being 
disappointed in the character of the people, as well as 
in the language, which it was his special object to 
acquire, and reduce to writing. He returned to GraafF 
Reinet, entered the Dutch church, and, after a short 
career, died at Craddock. 


Mr. Read succeeds in obtaining consent—Great wisdom required— 
Suspicions of the natives—Difficulty of obtaining confidence— 
A Commando defeated—Encouraging tokens—An untoward cir¬ 
cumstance—Mr. Campbell’s departure—The loaf stolen—The 
Author returns to the Mission—Position of the Missionary among 
the Becbuanas—Difference of Missionary fields—Peculiar diffi¬ 
culties—Total absence of idolatry—Early professions no criterion 
—A rain-maker’s reasoning—Bechuana government —Pitshos, 
native parliament—National customs—Barriers to the Gospel— 
Labours of the women—Bechuana character—Lichtenstein and 
Thompson’s testimonies. 

Notwithstanding these gloomy reverses, Mr. Hamil¬ 
ton, nothing daunted, resolved on making another 
effort. In the mean time, Mr. Read arrived at Griqua 
Town with a large party of Hottentots, from Bethels- 
dorp ; and as there were no provisions for their support, 
Mr. Hamilton was compelled to proceed to the Colony 
for supplies, without which their stay at Lithako must 
have been but temporary ; while Mr. Read continued 
his journey, determining either to settle at that place 
or at the Kuruman River, which the Becbuanas had 
recommended. On reaching the town, Mr. Read 
thought it prudent to take no notice of Mothibi’s re¬ 
fusal of the brethren, but simply to remind him of the 
agreement with Mr. Campbell, and told him “ that 
Mr. C. had influenced the good people beyond the 



Great Waters to send missionaries ; that they rejoiced 
much at his promise to receive them, and had been 
very generous in sending hy the missionaries a plen¬ 
tiful supply of articles to make him and his people 
liajipy, some of which were at Griqua Town, and some 
at Bethelsdorp, hut which should he sent for.” This 
information produced the desired effect on Mothihi’s 
mind, and softened down his opposition. Some ap¬ 
proved of the missionaries remaining, hut not to 
preach or to teach; and others on condition that they 
should aid them in their expeditions to plunder the 
Bauangketsi nation. To the latter stipulation they 
would not accede ; hut at the same time assured them 
that, should an enemy invade the town, assistance 
would he given hy the missionaries. By kindness and 
perseverance, the various objections raised against 
their residence with them were eventually overcome. 
Thus was an important point gained ; and which, of 
course, ought to be the first sought hy such as would 
introduce the Gospel to barbarians ; but it requires 
no little caution and prudence, in such a critical 
juncture, to avoid introducing a system which may 
afterwards involve either themselves or their suc¬ 
cessors in responsibilities and engagements,' which 
circumstances put it out of their power to con¬ 
tinue or fulfil. I confess I know of no part of the 
missionary’s life in which he more requires the 
wisdom of the serpent in union with the harmless¬ 
ness of the dove, than in his first intercourse with a 
savage people. What wisdom, what meekness, are 
necessary to him who proposes to introduce the ele¬ 
ments of a spiritual empire, to sweep away refuges 
of lies, to prostrate idols and altars in the dust, to 



abolish rites and ceremonies, to transform barbarous 
and antiquated judicial systems, and^ after apostoli¬ 
cal example, ‘‘ to turn the world upside down ! ” 

As a people like the Bechuanas, who never had 
the slightest idea of idols, or of idol service, could 
have no notion whatever of the object of mission¬ 
aries, beyond that of secular interests, it is necessary 
to refer to the temporal advantages to be expected 
from the establishment of Christianity, and this is 
the critical moment which gives a character to suc¬ 
ceeding years ! While they had had intercourse with 
the Griquas, amongst whom they had witnessed the 
progress and results of missionary labours, they were 
not ignorant of the political connexion in which they 
stood to the Colony; and had been informed by some 
of the evil-disposed, that the missionary there was an 
agent of Government, and a pioneer to prepare, by 
pacific measures, the minds of the natives for the 
control of a foreign power. Thus, kind promises, a 
profusion of gifts, bodily service, fascinating as these 
were to such thoroughly sensual beings as were the 
Bechuanas, did not entirely remove their suspicions, 
that the missionaries were only the emissaries of 
the Colonial Governor. I have frequently heard at 
a subsequent period, the views which were then 
entertained by men who are now instructed, enlight¬ 
ened, and established in the faith of the Gospel, and 
on whose minds not a lingering doubt remains that 
the missionaries are indeed the messengers of the 
Church of God. These men in their natural state, 
altogether devoted to sensual enjoyments, narrowly 
watched the conduct of the strangers, as well as that of 
their attendants ; and what might have been supposed 


unknown^ or too minute for the apparently obtuse 
perceptions of the popular rabble, was analysed with 
scrutiny and precision; and deductions were drawn 
rarely in favour of the objects of their observation. 

From these remarks the reader will perceive how 
much missionaries require Divine guidance in their 
first intercourse with heathen tribes and nations. 
It is extremely difficult adequately to conceive of 
the extent of the ignorance even of their wise men, 
on subjects with which infants are conversant in 
this country. Yet it cannot be denied, in spite 
of general appearances, that they are acute rea- 
soners, and observers of men and manners. But 
to return: the prospect of a permanent settlement 
on the part of the missionaries, did not depend upon 
the caprice of one, but of many ; and especially on 
Mahuto, the queen, whose influence over her hus¬ 
band was great. Her favour was not procured with¬ 
out a very considerable tax upon the comfort of the 
missionaries, whose resources, she presumed, were 
at her command. She, with many others, like the 
multitude of old, could express her attachment and 
admiration, so long as the loaves and fishes were 
available ! Not unfrequently, if she was incensed, she 
would instigate her husband to acts in themselves 
harsh and severe. Her favour, therefore, was of no 
little importance when it could be secured, i Nor is 
this at all surprising to those familiar with the 
heathen character; but, woe to those who remain, 
or who succeed to carry on the work, and to stru SS'e 
with tlie difficulties consequent on such a system! 
We rarely find that this mode of proceeding among 
ignorant savages, eventually melts away in the liglit 



of Gospel day. There are exceptions ; but these are 
associated with painful and protracted conflicts witli 
the evils which the system now deprecated engenders. 

The brethren had not remained long at Lithako, 
before an event occurred, which, though disastrous 
in itself, produced consequences of great importance 
to the future interests of the mission. Mothibi mus¬ 
tered a large expedition against the Bakuenas, nearly 
200 miles to the north-east. Their object was to 
capture cattle. The supposed invincible commando 
was repulsed, driven, and scattered. Many were slain, 
others were dashed to pieces over precipices; and 
Mothibi, wounded in the foot, narrowly escaped with 
the loss of m.any of his warriors. The women 
had just been wailing over the loss of many cattle 
taken by the Bauangketsi; and now their husbands 
were gone to inflict the same distress on others! 
Bitter were their lamentations, as each succeed¬ 
ing party announced to many a distracted mother 
and child, that they were widow^s and orphans. Soon 
after this calamitous event, Mothibi and the majority 
of the town, were influenced to remove to the Kuru- 
man River, which was in June, 1817. From this 
period to the arrival of the author, in company with 
Mr. Campbell, in 1820, the interests of the mission 
continued to fluctuate, but without any decisive evi¬ 
dences of the influences of the Holy Spirit being 
poured out. The public services were carried on, 

, though by means of very imperfect interpreters ; a 
serious drawback, of which, however, they were not 
sufficiently aware at that time. Notwithstanding 
these and many other impediments, good was being 
done, and the natives were gradually led to believe 



that the missionaries were their friends, though, as 
it afterwards appeared, few indeed attended for the 
sake of instruction. About this time an event oc¬ 
curred, which produced a very unpleasant sensation 
on the minds of the Bechuanas. A fair had been 
established at Beaufort, a village on the northern 
boundaries of the colony, for the purpose of affording 
means to the Griquas and Bechuanas, to avail them¬ 
selves at one season of the year, of an opportunity 
of purchasing, by barter, what they might require. 
A considerable party of Bechuanas were persuaded 
to go, but they returned disappointed and mortified; 
and three of their number were drowned in crossing 
the Orange River. They were not able to obtain the 
beads and other articles they desired, and were rather 
roughly treated by some of the farmers, from whom 
they expected to receive the same attentions as from 
the missionaries. The journey was to them unpro¬ 
fitable and disastrous; and they long suspected and 
insinuated that they were advised to go thither, to 
be robbed and treated with contumely. 

Mr. Campbell, after his very successful journey 
to the Bahurutsi, at Kurrichane, about 200 miles 
north-east of Lithako, returned, accompanied by 
Mr. Read, to the Colony, while I was appointed to 
remain at Griqua Town for a short season, and then 
join the mission at the Kuruman. 

Mrs. Moffat and myself could not but feel deeply 
when we hade what, at that time, we supposed to be 
a long and a last adieu, to the man who had always 
been dear to us, and who was then still dearer. We 
had travelled with him over many an African hill and 
plain ; we had held converse with each other on the 



interests of Christ’s kingdom in Africa; and we had 
often howed our knees together before the throne of 
God, on hehalf of the sahle sons and daughters of 
that desolate country, among whom we v/andered, 
and for whose sakes we were strangers in a strange 
land. The memory of our beloved friend is very 
pleasant. It was refreshing to meet him once more 
on our return to our native shores. He has now ter¬ 
minated his pilgrimage, and entered into rest. Let us 
who survive imitate him who now, through faith and 
patience, inherits the promises ! 

Mr. Hamilton was now left alone, to struggle with 
a variety of difficulties. His lot had been a hard 
one. In addition to great manual labour, in digging 
a long watercourse, preparing ground, and building, 
he had been compelled, from his scanty allowance, 
to toil with his own hands, to preserve himself and 
family from perfect beggary, while exposed to heavy 
taxes to keep nobles in good humour, enduring un¬ 
remitting liberties, taken by those who seemed to 
think that they had a lawful right to obtain, by any 
and by all means, what they could lay hands upon 
of the missionary’s property. One day, having no 
mills at that time to grind corn, he sat down, ac¬ 
cording to ancient custom, and with two hand-stones, 
as they were called, the upper being turned with a 
handle fixed into the top, he laboured and perspired 
for half a day, in order to obtain as much meal as 
would make a loaf sufficient to serve him (then alone) 
for at least eight days. Having kneaded and baked 
his gigantic loaf, such a one as had not graced his 
shelf for many a month, he went to the chapel, and 
returned to his hut in the evening, with a keen 


appetite, promising himself a treat of his coarse 
home-made bread, when, alas ! on opening the door 
of his hut, and very naturally casting his eye to 
the shelf, he perceived the loaf was gone. Some 
one had forced open the only little window, which 
appeared too small for a human being to enter, but 
which served as a place of egress for thief and loaf 
too ; and thus vanished all his hopes for bread to 
supper, and to many succeeding meals. 

Not discouraged by a multitude of similar morti¬ 
fications, he continued his cheerless and noiseless 
career, his heart glowing with compassion for per¬ 
ishing souls, instant at all seasons to recommend 
the Saviour’s love, and his iron frame of body daily 
bending to hard labour. He did not possess those 
means by which a few, who had been influenced to 
attend to instructions, might be prevailed upon to 
persevere. The results of the Beaufort fair still 
rankled in their minds; and when Mr. Hamilton 
inquired for the young people who were wont to 
profess a design to learn, he found the spell was 
broken which had for a season made them the ob¬ 
jects of'hope. This lay heavy upon his mind, as, 
though a most faithful, laborious, and persevering 
missionary, he was very naturally concerned lest he 
might be charged with depriving them of a single 
privilege, or manifesting the shadow of inattention 
to the interests of the meanest child. 

In May, 1821, according to arrangements made 
when Mr. Campbell left the country, I returned, 
with my family, to the mission ; an event earnestly 
desired and prayed for by Mr. Hamilton, as well as 
ourselves, and which would have taken place much 




earlier, had not paramount duties at Griqua Town 
prevented. The following chapters will contain the 
continuation of missionary conflicts for successive 
years, during which our faith was severely tried, 
while the object of our incessant labours and prayers 
seemed to fly farther from our grasp. As each 
succeeding wave rolled heavier and darker still over 
our heads, the heathen would ask, in derision, “ Where 
is your God?” They will also exhibit the dawn of 
Gospel light on the minds of that people, the triumph 
of divine truth crowning our labours with success ; 
so that now, instead of a solitary missionary station, 
once like the burning bush, we can look, with feelings 
no pen can describe, on temples raised to Jehovah, 
and crowds assembled, not to hear the vociferations 
of the fierce warrior, or the eloquent and martial 
strains of the senator, labouring to arouse his audience 
to revenge and war, but the heavenly message of 
peace and love. 

Our day, sabbath, and infant schools, as also our 
printing-presses, are at work, to supply the increasing 
wants of a reading population; while the advanced 
standard-bearers see opening doors, and hear Mace¬ 
donian voices saying, Come over and help us.” 
The Basuto country, once the theatre of plunder 
and bloodshed, is now studded with missionary 
stations of the French Evangelical and Wesleyan 
Missionary Societies ; so that, from the eastern bor¬ 
ders of the Southern Zahara to Fort Natal, a phalanx 
presents itself, which, if zealously supported by faith 
and prayer, will ere long enter the tropics, and ad¬ 
vance towards nations which will require another mode 
of warfare, to oppose pioneers of Islam delusion. 



From the brief notices already given of the diffi¬ 
culties the missionaries had to encounter in obtaining 
a footing, and the still greater in advancing the 
objects of the mission, arising from the peculiar 
character and customs of the people, the reader will 
be comparatively prepared for the detail of events 
recorded in subsequent pages. The situation of the 
missionary among the Bechuanas is peculiar, differing, 
with slight exception, from any other among any 
nation on the face of the earth. He has no idolatry 
to arrest his progress, and his mind is not over¬ 
whelmed with the horrors which are to be found in 
countries where idols and idol temples are resorted to 
by millions of devotees ; his ears are never stunned 
by their orgies ; his eyes are not offended by human 
and other sacrifices, nor is he the spectator of the 
unhappy widow immolated on the funeral pile of her 
husband; the infant screams of Moloch’s victims never 
rend his heart. He meets with no sacred streams, 
nor hears of voluntary victims to propitiate the anger 
of imaginary deities. He seeks in vain to find a 
temple, an altar, or a single emblem of heathen 
worship. No fragments remain of former days, as 
mementos to the present generation, that their an¬ 
cestors ever loved, served, or reverenced a being 
greater than man. A profound silence reigns on 
this awful subject. Satan has been too successful 
in leading captive at his will a majority of the human 
race, by an almost endless variety of deities. As 
if creation were not sufficiently profuse, vanity has 
excited a host of inventive and degenerate minds 
to form images, of every shaj)e and size, exhibiting 
the horrid, the ludicrous, and the obscene. While 

R 2 



Satan is obviously the author of the polytheism of 
other nations, he has employed his agency, with fatal 
success, in erasing every vestige of religious impres¬ 
sion from the minds of the Bechuanas, Hottentots, 
and Bushmen; leaving them without a single ray 
to guide them from the dark and dread futurity, or 
a single link to unite them with the skies. 

Thus the missionary could make no appeals to 
legends, or to altars, or to an unknown God, or to 
ideas kindred to those he wished to impart. His 
was not the work of turning the stream backward 
to its ancient course. Their religious system, like 
those streams in the wilderness which lose themselves 
in the sand, had entirely disappeared; and it devolved 
on the missionaries to prepare for the gracious dis¬ 
tribution of the waters of salvation in that desert 
soil, sowing the seed of the word, breathing many 
a prayer, and shedding many a tear, till the Spirit 
of God should cause it to vegetate, and yield the 
fruits of righteousness. 

It has often occurred to me, while perusing the 
letters and journals of missionaries in India, how 
very different our mode of husbandry is from theirs, 
though labouring in the same vineyard, with the 
same instruments, and having the same object in 
view, the gathering in of spiritual fruit to the garner 
of our God. Our difficulties are certainlv of a 
widely different character, and some have thought 
ours in Africa small compared with those which our 
brethren have to encounter in India and elsewhere. 
This may be so; but during years of apparently 
fruitless labour, I have often wished to find some¬ 
thing, by which I could lay hold on the minds of 




the natives,—an altar to an unknown God, the faith 
of their ancestors, the immortality of the soul, or any 
religious association ; hut nothing of this kind ever 
floated in their minds. “ They looked on the sun,” 
as Mr. Campbell very graphically said, with the eyes 
of an ox.” To tell them, the gravest of them, that 
there was a Creator, the Governor of the heavens 
and earth,—of the fall of man, or the redemption 
of the world, the resurrection of the dead, and im¬ 
mortality beyond the grave, was to tell them what 
appeared to be more fabulous, extravagant, and ludi¬ 
crous than their own vain stories about lions, hyenas, 
and jackals. To tell them that these were articles 
of our faith, would extort an interjection of super¬ 
lative surprise, as if they were too preposterous for 
the most foolish to believe. Our labours might well 
be compared to the attempts of a child to grasp the 
surface of a polished mirror, or those of a husband¬ 
man labouring to transform the surface of a granite 
rock into arable land, on which he might sow his 
seed. To gain attention was the first great object 
of the missionary; and this was not to he done by 
calm reasoning, or exciting in their minds a jealousy 
for the honour of their own religious rites and ceremo¬ 
nies, for these they did not possess. What they heard 
was sure to please, provided they got a hit of tobacco^ 
or some little equivalent for their time—a thing of 
no value to them—which they spent in hearing one 
talk. Some would even make a trade of telling 
the missionary that they prayed, by which means 
God directed them to their lost cattle, at a few yards 
distance, after having been in search of them several 
days ; and that in the same way he had brought game 



within reach of their spears. Replies to questions 
as to what they thought of the Word of God, were 
very cheap; and if they supposed that by such 
means they had obtained favour and respect, their 
success would be the subject of merriment in their 
own circles. Some individuals, to my knowledge, 
who had carried on this deception in the early period 
of the mission, many years afterwards boasted how 
expert they had been in thus gulling the missionary. 

Although they had received much instruction, they 
appeared never for one moment to have reflected 
upon it, nor did they retain traces of it in their 
memories, which are generally very tenacious. Ac¬ 
cordingly, most of those who at an early period made 
professions to please, died, as they had lived, in pro¬ 
found ignorance. Munameets, though an early friend 
of the mission, the travelling companion of Mr. 
Campbell, and one of the most sensible and intelli¬ 
gent men of the nation, who had enjoyed greater 
privileges than any one at the station, made the fol¬ 
lowing remark to the writer, in his usual affectionate 
way, not long before his death :—“ Ra-Mary, your 
customs may be good enough for you, but I never 
see that they fill the stomach,’’ putting his hand on 
his own: “I would like to live with you, because 
you are kind, and could give me medicine when I 
am sick. Though I am the uncle of Mothibi, I am 
the dog of the chief, and must gather up the crumbs 
(gorge at festivals). I am one of the elders of the 
people, and though I am still a youth (seventy years!) 
my thoughts and perceptions are neither so swift nor 
acute as they were. Perhaps you may be able to 
make the children remember your mekhua (customs).” 

A rain-maker’s reasoning. 


They could not see that there was any thing in 
our customs more agreeable to tlesh and blood than 
in their own, but would, at the same, time admit 
that we were a wiser and a superior race of beings 
to themselves. For this superiority some of their 
wise heads would try to account, but this they could 
only do on the ground of our own statements, that 
a Great Being made man. 

A wily rain-maker, who was the oracle of the vil¬ 
lage in which he dwelt, once remarked, after hearing 
me enlarge on the subject of creation, If you verily 
believe that that Being created all men, then, accord¬ 
ing to reason, you must also believe that in making 
white people he has improved on his work. He tried 
his hand on Bushmen first, and he did not like them, 
because they were so ugly, and their language like 
that of the frogs. He then tried his hand on the 
Hottentots, but these did not please him either. He 
then exercised his power and skill and made the 
Bechuanas, which was a great improvement; and at 
last he made the white people : therefore,” exulting 
with an air of triumph at the discovery, the white 
people are so much wiser than we are, in making 
walking-houses (wagons), teaching the oxen to draw 
them over hill and dale, and instructing them also 
to plough the gardens instead of making their wives 
do it, like the Bechuanas.” His discovery received 
the applause of the people, while the poor missionary’s 
arguments, drawn from the source of Divine truth, 
were thrown into the shade. They were always so 
averse to reasoning on any subjects of this nature, that 
the missionary felt it quite a treat to meet with an 
individual who would enter into a discussion, even 
though with derision and scorn. 



With all their concessions, they vonld, with little 
ceremony, pronounce our customs clumsy, awkward, 
and troublesome. They could not account for our 
putting our legs, feet, and arms into bags, and using 
buttons for the purpose of fastening bandages round 
our bodies, instead of suspending them as ornaments 
from the neck or hair of the head. Washing the 
body, instead of lubricating it with grease and red 
ochre, was a disgusting custom ; and cleanliness about 
our food, house, and bedding, contributed to their 
amusement in no small degree. A native, who was 
engaged roasting a piece of fat zebra flesh for me on 
the coals, was told that he had better turn it with a 
stick or fork, instead of his hands, which he inva¬ 
riably rubbed on his dirty body for the sake of the 
precious fat. This suggestion made him and his com¬ 
panions laugh extravagantly, and they were wont to 
repeat it as an interesting joke wherever they came. 

The government of the people partakes both of 
the monarchical and patriarchal, comparatively mild 
in its character. Each tribe has its chief or king, 
who commonly resides in the largest town, and is 
held sacred from his hereditary right to that office. 
A tribe generally includes a number of towns or 
villages, each having its distinct head, under whom 
there are a number of subordinate chiefs. These 
constitute the aristocracy of the nation, and all ac¬ 
knowledge the supremacy of the principal one. His 
power, though very great, and, in some instances, 
despotic, is nevertheless controlled by the minor 
chiefs, who, in their pichos or pitshos, their parlia¬ 
ment, or public meetings, use the greatest plainness 
of speech in exposing what they consider culpable, 
or lax in his government. An able speaker will 


sometimes turn the scale even against the king, if 
we may call him such. I have heard him inveighed 
against for making women his senators and his wife 
prime minister, while the audience were requested to 
look at his body, and see if he were not getting too 
corpulent; a sure indication that his mind was little 
exercised in anxieties about the welfare of his people. 
He generally opens the business of the day with a 
short speech, reserving his eloquence and wisdom to 
the close of the meeting, when he analyses the 
speeches that have been delivered, and never forgets 
to lash in the most furious language those who have 
exposed his faults, and who, as he would express it, 
have walked over his body, placing their feet upon 
his neck. This is all taken in good part, and the 
exhausted chieftain is heartily cheered when the 
meeting dissolves. These assemblies keep up a to¬ 
lerable equilibrium of power between the chiefs and 
their king, hut they are only convened when differ¬ 
ences between tribes have to be adjusted, when a 
predatory expedition is to be undertaken, or when 
the removal of a tribe is contemplated; though oc¬ 
casionally matters of less moment are introduced. 

My object here is not to give a description of the 
manners and customs of the Bechuanas, which would 
require a volume, while it would be neither very in¬ 
structive nor very edifying. They will, moreover, 
occasionally he referred to as they stand connected 
with circumstances narrated in the course of the work. 
I have briefly glanced at the national council as the 
stronghold or shield of the native customs, in which 
speakers have, in a masterly style, inveighed against 
any aggression on their ancient ceremonies, threatening 



confiscation and death to those who would arraign 
the wisdom of their forefathers. This was their forum, 
while the responses of nobles were the pulse of the 
nation. But private thefts, murder, and a host of 
other crimes passed unnoticed in these assemblies, 
and were left to the avenger. 

Of their customs they are as tenacious as the 
Hindoo could be of his caste, that dreadful barrier 
to evangelization in the East Indies. Their youth, 
for instance, would forfeit any thing rather than go 
uncircumcised. This national ceremony is performed 
from the age of eight to fourteen, and even to man¬ 
hood, though the children born previous to their 
parents being initiated cannot be heirs to regal power. 
There is much feasting and dancing on the occasion, 
and every heart is elated at these festivities. The 
females have also their boyali at the same age, in 
which they are under the tuition of matrons, and ini¬ 
tiated into all the duties of wives, in which it merits 
notice, that passive obedience is especially inculcated. 

After these tedious ceremonies are over, the youth 
appears lubricated, assuming the character, and wear¬ 
ing the dress of a man, while he is considered able 
to bear the shield and wield the javelin. The girls 
also, when they have gone the round of weeks of drill¬ 
ing, dancing, singing, and listening to the precepts 
of the grave old women, have a piece of iron rather 
hot put into their hands, which they must hold fast 
for a time, though painful, to show that their hands 
are hard and strong for labour. They are then 
anointed, and, having put on the usual female dress, 
the lower part of their hair is shaven off, and the 
upper part . profusely bedaubed with a paste of butter 



and sehilo, black shining ochre. Raised thus from 
com})arative infancy to what they consider woman¬ 
hood, they view themselves with as much compla¬ 
cency as if 

daughters of an eastern potentate. They have reached 
nearly to a climax in their life, for they expect soon 
to he married, and to be a mother they consider the 
chief end of a woman’s existence. 

These ceremonies were prodigious barriers to the 
Gospel. Polygamy was another obstacle, and the 
Bechuanas, jealous of any diminution in their self- 
indulgence, by being deprived of the services of their 
wives, looked with an extremely suspicious eye on 
any innovation on this ancient custom. While going 
to war, hunting, watching the cattle, milking the 
cows, and preparing the furs and skins for mantles, 
was the work of the men, the women had by far the 
heavier task of agriculture, building the houses, fenc¬ 
ing, bringing firewood, and heavier than all, nature’s 
charge, the rearing of a family. The greater part of 
the year they are constantly employed; and during 
the season of picking and sowing their gardens, their 
task is galling, living on a coarse, scanty fare, and 
frequently having a babe fastened to their backs, while 
thus cultivating the ground. 

The men, for obvious reasons, found it convenient 
to have a number of such vassals, rather than only 
one, while the woman would be perfectly amazed at 
one’s ignorance, were she to be told that she would 
be much happier in a single state, or widowhood, than 
being the mere concubine and drudge of a haughty 
husband, who spent the greater part of his life in 
lounging in the shade, while she was compelled, for 

they were enrobed in the attire of the 



his comfort as well as her own, to labour under the 
rays of an almost vertical sun, in a hot and withering 
climate. Their houses, which require considerable 
ingenuity as well as hard labour, are entirely the work 
of the women, who are extremely thankful to carry 
home even the heavier timbers, if their husbands will 
take their axes and fell them in the thicket, which 
may be many miles distant. The centre of the coni¬ 
cal roof will, in many houses, be eighteen feet high, 
and it requires no little scrambling, in the absence of 
ladders, for females to climb such a height; but the 
men pass and repass, and look on with the most per¬ 
fect indifference; while it never enters their heads that 
their wife, their daughter, or their mother, may fall 
and break a leg or neck. These houses, though tem¬ 
porary, and requiring great labour to keep them con¬ 
stantly in repair, are nevertheless very well adapted 
to the climate. They admit little light, which is not 
desirable in a hot country, and among millions of 
house-flies; but during the winter season they are 
uncomfortably airy and cold. 

While standing near the wife of one of the gran¬ 
dees, who, with some female companions was building 
a house, and making preparations to scramble by 
means of a branch on to the roof, I remarked that 
they ought to get their husbands to do tliat part of 
the work. This set them all into a roar of laughter. 
Mahuto, the queen, and several of the men drawing 
near to ascertain the cause of the merriment, the 
wives repeated my strange, and, to them, ludicrous 
proposal, when another peal of mirth ensued. Ma¬ 
huto, who was a sensible and shrewd woman, stated 
that the plan, though hopeless, was a good one, as 



she often thought our custom was much better than 
theirs. It was reasonable that woman should attend 
to household afiairs, and the lighter parts of labour, 
while man, wont to boast of his superior strength, 
should employ his energy in more laborious occupa¬ 
tions ; adding, she wished I would give their hus¬ 
bands medicine to make them do the work. This 
remark was made rather in a way of joke. Poor 
woman, she little knew then that there was One whose 
omnipotent voice has declared, “ I wall put my Spirit 
into them, and create new hearts within them but 
now, blessed he his Holy name, she, and hundreds 
more have been publicly baptized into the faith of 
the Gospel of the Son of God. 

Again, the habits of the people were such as to 
warn us that the vision would tarry, and that there 
as wxll as in the strongholds of idolatry, it was to be, 
“ not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith 
the Lord.” A traveller, such as Lichtenstein, wdiose 
stay w^as very short among the Bechuanas, was not 
likely to form an adequate judgment of their real cha¬ 
racter. They are, it is true, like the Kafirs, a supe¬ 
rior race, have a dignity and openness, the natural 
results of independence; and to him must have pre¬ 
sented a striking contrast to the slaves of the Colony 
whence he had come: but that they manifest the 
utmost ‘‘ contempt of all chicane or deceit,” which 
he urges as a proof “of innate rectitude, and con¬ 
sciousness of natural strength,” is not correct; and 
had he dwelt among them, and sat with them in their 
public and private councils, lived in their dw^ellings, 
accompanied tliem on their journeys, and mingled 
with them on the field of battle, as the writer has 



done, he would not have attempted to revive the 
fabled delights and bliss of ignorance^ reported to 
exist in the abodes of heathenism. 

When we attempted to convince them of their 
state as sinners, they would boldly affirm, with full 
belief in their innate rectitude, that there was not 
a sinner in the tribe, referring us to other nations 
whom they dreaded, or with whom they were at 
war; and especially the poor despised Bushmen. 
That they are less ferocious than some tribes, we 
admit; but this is saying little in commendation of 
those who could with impunity rob, murder, lie, 
and exchange wives. No matter how disgraceful the 
action might be, or what deceit, prevarication, du¬ 
plicity, and oaths, were required to support it, suc¬ 
cess made them perfectly happy in a practice in which 
most were adepts. 

When they are styled savages, the appellation 
should be understood in a restrictive sense, espe¬ 
cially when compared with the Zoolu tribes to the 
east, who, as we shall yet have occasion to show^ 
though they are not cannibals, would, in fiercest bar¬ 
barity, vie with any of the inhabitants of the islands 
of the Pacific. The Bechuana character is frank and 
sociable, which, however, does not appear to arise 
from a benevolence of disposition, so much as from 
a degree of etiquette and habits, arising from rela¬ 
tionship and locality. It has sometimes perfectly 
astounded the writer to see individuals he had sup¬ 
posed to be amiable and humane, who would, when 
brought into certain positions, as if in their native 
element, wallow in crimes, which he expected they 
would naturally shudder to ' perpetrate. Having had 

Thompson’s testimony. 


long intercourse with many tribes, he feels persuaded 
that what he has stated will be found a tolerably correct 
estimate of the Bechuana character. But although 
they are revengeful to the last degree, if an offender 
propitiate the injured party by a gift, at the same time 
confessing his error, or, as is common, put the blame 
on his heart, the most perfect unanimity and cordiality 

Mr. Thompson in his travels correctly remarks, 
that, like most barbarians, their political wisdom 
consists in duplicity and petty cunning; and their 
ordinary wars were merely predatory incursions upon 
their wxaker neighbours for the purpose of carrying 
off cattle, with as little exposure as possible, of their 
own lives. Their expeditions against the Bushmen 
were peculiarly vindictive, and conducted with all 
the insidiousness and murderous ferocity, without 
the heroic intrepidity, of American or New Zealand 
savages;” examples of this will occur hereafter. All 
these characteristics are only what the records of 
Divine truth authorize us to expect from those who 
walk according to the prince of the power of the air. 
The inspired description given in Rom. hi. 10—18, 
is the real transcript of the condition of a people, 
who have no fear of God before their ‘eyes. Both 
ancient and modern missionaries have found it so ; 
and whoever goes to preach the unsearchable riches 
of Christ among the heathen, goes on a warfare which 
requires all prayer and supplication, to keep his 
armour bright, and in active operation, to wrestle 
and struggle, and toil, in pulling down the strong¬ 
holds of Satan, whether in Africa, India, or the is¬ 
lands of the Pacific. 


Difficulties on entering on a mission—Atheism of the Kafirs—Re¬ 
marks of Pringle and Kay—Testimony of a sorcerer—The pray¬ 
ing Mantis—The Morimo of the Bechuana—Absurd notions of 
Morimo and Barirno—Notions of the origin of man, etc.—A 
woman sees Morimo—Rain-maker’s sagacity—Opinions of Di¬ 
vines—Deplorable ignorance—Incredulity of a chief—Testimony 
of a convert. 

When a mission is commenced among a barbarous 
people, it is a novelty; every thing about the stran¬ 
ger is new. His person, dress, and implements ex¬ 
cite their surprise. His manners are the subject of 
conversation; his temporary abode continues to be 
visited by persons from a distance, to see the show; 
but instead of paying for their entertainment, and the 
annoyance their presence and cravings inflict on all 
occasions, they think they have a right to beg, if not 
to steal; that they may have some tangible proof 
that they have seen the stranger, and experienced 
his kindness. His resources must soon fail, and dis¬ 
tance and poverty prevent him from replenishing 
his exhausted stores. He finds that he is only com¬ 
mencing his hardships, while he hears their hosannas 
changed to away with him, away with him I” This 
reverse assumes a more serious aspect, when they 
perceive what is the real object of the missionary. 



and anticipate the probable result of the doctrines 
taught. Tlie natural man in the grosser form of a 
savage, broods over the terrible havoc the new system 
will make with bis darling pleasures, and violently 
rebels at the axe being laid at the root of bis sensual 
enjoyments, without which life would be a grievous 
burden to him. This is a period in which the faith 
and the patience of the missionary are put to the test; 
and surely no where more so than among a lawless 

The next barrier to be noticed, before concluding 
this subject, is, the entire absence of theological 
ideas, or religion, which has already been briefly 
glanced at. Dr. Vanderkemp, in his account of the 
Kafirs, makes the following remark: “ If by religion 
we mean reverence for God, or the external action 
by which that reverence is expressed, I never could 
perceive that they bad any religion, nor any idea of 
the existence of a God. I am. speaking nationally, 
for there are many individuals who have some notion 
of His existence, which they have received from ad¬ 
jacent nations. A decisive proof of the truth of what 
I here say with respect to the national atheism of the 
Kafirs, is, that they have no word in their language 
to express the idea of the Deity; the individuals just 
mentioned calling him ’Thiko, which is a corrup¬ 
tion of the name by which God is called in the lan¬ 
guage of the Hottentots, literally signifying one that 
induces pain.’’ 

To the above description given by Dr. V., I may 
add, that, (though I am aware Uhlanga is also used 
by the Kafirs to denote a Supreme Being,) from what 

I know of the habits of the interior tribes, I perfectly 




agree with the Rev. S. Kay in his account of the 
Amakosa genealogy, that Uhlanga or Thlanga is the 
name of the oldest of their kings, hy whom they 
swore in former times; a custom which obtains 
universally in the interior. ‘‘ It seems to me, there¬ 
fore,” says the late Mr. Pringle, in his “ African 
Sketches,” “ doubtful whether the God Uhlanga be 
not merely a deified chief or hero, like the Thor and 
Woden of our Teutonic ancestors;” and the same 
writer adds, “ The Hottentot word Uti’ko is now 
used, by all the frontier (Kafir) tribes, to denote the 
Christian’s God.” These remarks will equally apply 
to the Hottentots and Namaquas, who are one people. 
While living among the latter, I made many inquiries 
respecting the name they had to denote the Divine 
Being, but could not come to any satisfactory con¬ 
clusion on the subject, though I had the assistance 
of Africaner in my researches. The name they use is 
Tsui’kuap, or, as some tribes pronounce it, Uti’kuap : 
the Uti’ko of the Hottentots is articulated with the 
click or cluck peculiar to that language. 

In my journey to the back parts of Great Namaqua- 
land, I met with an aged sorcerer, or doctor, who 
stated that he had always understood that Tsui’kuap 
was a notable warrior of great physical strength ; that 
in a desperate struggle with another chieftain, he re¬ 
ceived a wound in the knee, but having vanquished 
his enemy, his name was lost in the mighty combat, 
which rendered the nation independent; for no one 
could conquer the Tsui’kuap (wounded knee). When 
I referred to the import of the word, one who inflicts 
pain, or a sore knee, expressing my surprise that they 
should give such a name to the Creator and Bene- 



factor; he replied in a way that induced a belief that 
he applied the term to what we should call the devil, 
or to death itself; adding, that he thought “ death, or 
the power causing death, was very sore indeed.” To 
him, as to many others, this Tsui’kuap was an object 
neither of reverence nor love. During tremendous 
thunder-storms, which prevail in that climate, and 
which it might be supposed would speak to the mind 
of man with an awful voice, I have known the natives 
of Namaqua-land shoot their poisoned arrows at the 
lightning, in order to arrest the destructive fluid.* 
May not the Tsui’kuap of these people be, like the 
Thlanga of the Kafirs, an ancient hero; or represent 
some power which they superstitiously dread from its 
causing death or pain ? The praying Mantis, as it is 
called, from the erect position and motion it assumes 
when alarmed, which is said to have been worshipped 
by the Hottentots, has no homage paid to it in Nam¬ 
aqua-land ; at least, Africaner’s people knew nothing 
of it. 

Dr. Sparrrnan, who had better opportunities of as¬ 
certaining the fact than any one else, remarks, that so 
far from worshipping this genus of insects, they have 
more than once caught several for him, and assisted 
him in sticking pins through them. ‘‘ There is, how¬ 
ever,” he adds, “ a diminutive species of insect which 
some think it would be a crime, as well as dangerous, 
to harm ; but this we have no more reason to look 
upon as any kind of religious worship, than we have 

* I knew a man who, though warned by myself and others of this 
daring practice, persisted, and was struck dead by the lightning. I 
have also heard of Bushmen throwing old shoes at it, or any thing 
they may happen to lay hold of. 

s 2 



to consider in the same light a certain superstitious 
notion prevalent among many of the more simple 
people in our own country, (Sweden,) who imagine 
that their sins will be forgiven them if they set a cock¬ 
chafer on its feet, that has happened to fall on its 
back/’ This will equally apply to the lady-bird and 
caterpillar, which children in England were wont to be 
afraid of injuring lest it should rain, though it was 
not an object of religious veneration. Some travellers 
have made a reference to the moon as an object of 
worship by the Africans, because they dance in her 
light; but this is no proof that they Vv^orship her, any 
more than a countryman, in our own father-land, who 
prefers a moonlight night to a dark one to perform a 
journey. To those who have not been in warm cli¬ 
mates, no idea can be formed how delightful the cool 
and silver moonbeams are. No wonder, then, that 
the natives, after sleeping soundly during the heat of 
the day, employ that refreshing season in the dance 
and song. The moonlight not only tranquillizes 
but exhilarates, while her bright horns are to them 
what lamps and chandeliers are to our splendid as¬ 
semblies at home. It is impossible for any but an 
eye-witness to conceive of the dismal darkness which 
pervades a native village where neither lamp nor 
candle was ever thought of. 

Among the Bechuanas, the name for God, adopted 
by the missionaries, is Morimo. This has the advantage 
of the names used by the Kafirs and Hottentots, being 
more definite, as its derivation at once determines its 
meaning. Mo is a personal prefix, and rimo is from 
gorimo, ‘ above.’ From the same root logo rimo, ‘ hea¬ 
ven,’ and its plural magorimo, are derived. The genius 


of the Sechuana language warrants us to expeet a 
correspondence between the name and the thing de¬ 
signated ; but in this instance the order is reversed. 
Morimo, to those who know any thing about it, had 
been represented by rain-makers and sorcerers as a 
malevolent selo, or thing, which the nations in the 
north described as existing in a hole, and which, like 
the fairies in the Highlands of Scotland, sometimes 
came out and inflicted diseases on men and cattle, 
and even caused death. This Morimo served the 
purpose of a bugbear, by which the rain-maker might 
constrain the chiefs to yield to his suggestions, when 
he wished for a slaughter-ox, without which he pre¬ 
tended he could not make rain. 

Morimo did not, then, convey to the mind of those 
who heard it the idea of God ; nor did Barimo, al¬ 
though it was an answer to the question, “ where do 
men go when they die?” signify heaven. According 
to one rule of forming the plural of personal nouns 
beginning with mo, Barimo would only be the plural 
of Morimo ; as Monona, “ a manBanona, “ men.” 
But the word is never used in this form : nor did it 
convey to the Bechuana mind the idea of a person or 
persons, but of a state or disease, or what superstition 
would style being bewitched. If a person were talking 
foolishly, or wandering in his intellect, were delirious, 
or in a fit, they would call him Barimo; which, among 
some tribes, is tantamount to liriti, shades or manes 
of the dead. ‘‘ Going to Barimo,” did not convey 
the idea that they were gone to any particular state 
of permanent existence ; for man’s immortality was 
never heard of among that people ; hut, simply, that 
they died. They could not describe who or what 
Morimo was, except something cunning or malicious ; 



and some who had a purpose to serve, ascribed to 
him power, but it was such as a Bushman doctor 
or quack could grunt out of the bowels or afflicted 
part of the human body. They never, however, dis¬ 
puted the propriety of our using the noun Morimo 
for the great Object of our worship, as some of 
them admitted that their forefathers might have 
known more about him than they did. They never 
applied the name to a human being, except in a way 
of ridicule, or in adulation to those who taught his 
greatness, wisdom, and power. 

As to the eternity of this existence, they appear 
never to have exercised one thought. Morimo is 
never called man. As the pronouns agree with the 
noun, those which Morimo governs cannot, without 
the greatest violence to the language, be applied to 
Mogorimo, a heavenly one,” which refers to a human 
being. This power is, in the mouth of a rain-maker, 
what a disease would be in the lips of a quack, just as 
strong or weak as he is pleased to call it. I never 
once heard that Morimo did good, or was supposed 
capable of doing so. More modern inquiries among 
the natives might lead to the supposition that he is as 
powerful to do good as he is to do evil; and that he 
has as great an inclination for the one as for the other. 
It will, however, he found that this view of his attri¬ 
butes is the result of twenty-five years’ missionary 
labour; the influences of which, in that as well as in 
other respects, extend hundreds of miles beyond the 
immediate sphere of the missionary. It is highly 
probable, however, that, as we proceed farther into 
the interior, we shall find the natives possessing more 
correct views on these subjects. 

According to native testimony, Morimo, as well as 



man. with all the different species of animals, came 
out of a cave or hole in the Bakone country, to the 
north, where, say they, their footmarks are still to be 
seen in the indurated rock, which was at that time 
sand. In one of Mr. Hamilton’s early journals, he 
records that a native had informed him that the foot¬ 
marks of Morimo were distinguished by being without 
toes. Once I heard a man of influence telling his 
story on the subject. I of course could not say that 
I believed the wondrous tale, but very mildly hinted 
that he might he misinformed ; on which he became 
indignant, and swore by his ancestors and his king, 
that he had visited the spot, and paid a tax to see the 
wonder ; and that, consequently, his testimony was 
indubitable. I very soon cooled his rage, by telling 
him, that as I should likely one day visit those re¬ 
gions, I should certainly think myself very fortunate 
if I could get him as a guide to that wonderful source 
of animated nature. Smiling, he said, Ha, and I 
shall show you the footsteps of the very first man.” 
This is the sum-total of the knowledge which the 
Bechuanas possessed of the origin of what they call 
Morimo, })rior to the period when they were visited 
by missionaries. Thus their foolish hearts are dark¬ 
ened ; and verily this is a darkness which may he felt. 
Such a people are living in what Job calls ‘‘ a land of 
darkness and the shadow of death,” spiritually buried, 
and without knowledge, life, or light. 

AYlien the rain-maker wanted something to do, he 
would pretend to work, or rather hnd work, for those 
who would chide him with having a cloudless sky 
instead of rain. To gain time was his grand study ; 
and he was ingenious in inventing causes for the 



drought. I remember the wife of a poor man who 
returned from the hills with a bundle of firewood, 
bringing wondrous tidings that she had seen Morimo. 
This moment was eagerly seized by that arch-official, 
and turned to account. He was an adept in the 
study of human nature, and knew that he was toler¬ 
ably safe if he could keep the ladies employed; for he 
had heard murmurings in the towns. He delivered 
his mandate, and thousands of women from the towns 
and villages followed their oracle to the side of a 
neighbouring hill, where all began to work; and 
though many had empty stomachs, an extensive gar¬ 
den was cleared and cultivated for Morimo. Happy 
the poor woman who thus, without being a ventrilo¬ 
quist or Pythoness, had enabled the rain-maker to 
fall on so lucky a stratagem. She fared well, whoever 
fasted; and though the heavens continued as brass, 
and the earth as iron, she became, by the gifts of 
rich and poor, a spectacle of obesity, and soon died. 
This may account for the town people knowing some¬ 
thing about the name Morimo, where the inhabit¬ 
ants of many villages and hamlets, being without 
rain-makers, are in perfect ignorance. 

Even the rain-maker, when asked by the missionary 
why he could thus honour the little malicious thing 
which they called Morimo, that only came out of a 
hole to indict pain, taking advantage of our Christian 
views as to the meaning of the word, would promptly 
reply, “Do not you say Morimo is the governor of 
the heavens, and that he only can make rain ? why 
then should we not honour him?” This showed his 
skill in the appropriation of our principles to serve 
his own purposes. H^ also exhibited considerable 

rain-maker’s SAGACITA^ 


cunning in this transfer ; for, should rain not come at 
his call, he could bring in the Morimo of the teachers 
for some part, if not the whole, of the blame. Thus, 
when liail injured tlieir crops, or rain fell in the cold 
and unseasonable part of the year, they would use the 
vilest epithets, and curse both the missionaries and 
their Morimo. When we assured them that God was 
in the heavens, and that He did whatever He pleased, 
they blamed us for giving Him a high position beyond 
their reach ; for they viewed their Morimo as a noxious 
reptile. ‘‘ AYould that I could catch it, I would transfix 
it with my spear,” exclaimed S., a chief, whose judg¬ 
ment on other subjects would command attention. 

As the science of rain-making, and the character 
of one of whom it might have been said he had got a 
patent, will be described in a following chapter, I shall 
confine myself in this to replying to many questions 
which have been put to me in this country, as to the 
extent of the knowledge of Divine things among the 
natives of South Africa. I am aware that the popular 
opinion is, that ‘‘man is a religious creature;” that 
“wherever he is to be found, there also are to be 
traced the impressions and even convictions of the ex¬ 
istence of a God.” It is also commonly believed, that 
wherever man is found scattered over the wide spread 
surface of earth’s domain, the knowledge of a “ vica¬ 
rious offering,” or sacrifice, by way of atonement, has 
retained its seat in the human mind. Such were my 
own views when I left my native land; and entertain¬ 
ing such views, I persuaded myself, or rather tried to 
])ersuade myself, that I could discover rays of natural 
light, innate ideas of a Divine Being, in the most untu¬ 
tored savage;—that I could never he at any loss to 


make appeals to something analogous to our own faith 
in the religious notions even of those among whom 
not a vestige of temple^ altar, image, idol, or shrine, 
was to be found. When I was unsuccessful, I attri¬ 
buted it to my ignorance of the language, or the pau¬ 
city of competent interpreters. So great was the force 
of early prejudices, that it was a long time before I 
could be induced to embrace what I once considered 
an erroneous view of 'the subject. Living among a 
people who were not in the habit of metaphysical dis¬ 
quisitions, which so often bewilder the understanding, 
I had only to draw conclusions from facts, which, 
according to the proverb, are “ stubborn things,” 
though even these sometimes fail to convince. Hav¬ 
ing asked the opinion of Mr. Campbell, as we were 
walking together, upon the views of a native Christian 
from Namaqua-land, with whom we had beem con¬ 
versing on this subject, and who had been giving us an 
ample and descriptive account of his former ideas, Mr. 
C. remarked, in his usual pithy style, ‘‘ Ah, sir, the 
people in England would not believe that men could 
become like pigs, eating acorns under the tree, without 
being capable of looking up to see from whence they 
came. People who have had the Christian lullaby 
sung over their cradles^, and sipped the knowledge of 
Divine things with their mothers’ milk, think all men 
must see as they do.” 

One of the most convincing proofs that the minds 
of the people are covered by the profoundest darkness, 
is, that after the missionary has endeavoured for hours 
to impart to them a knowledge of the Divine Being, 
they not unfrequently address to him the question, 
“ What is it you wish to tell me ?” And if any thing 



were wanting to confirm this conviction, surely this 
fact will be sufficient, that even where he has suc¬ 
ceeded in conveying to the vacant mind of the savage, 
ideas which he considers as paramount to all others, 
he is told that certainly these fables are very wonder¬ 
ful, but not more so than their own. 

Incpiiring one day of a group of natives whom I 
had been addressing, if any of them had previously 
known that Great Being which had been described to 
them; among the whole party I found only one old 
woman, who said that she remembered hearing the 
name Morimo when she was a child, but was not told 
what the thing was. Indeed, even in towns, the 
general reply on that subject is, that these are things 
about which the old people can speak; but as they 
are not in the habit of instructing the rising genera¬ 
tion on such topics, it is easy to see how even these 
vague notions become extinct altogether, as they have 
done in many parts of the country. Nor is it sur¬ 
prising that a chief, after listening attentively to me 
while he stood leaning on his spear, should utter an 
exclamation of amazement, that a man whom he 
accounted wise should vend such fables for truths. 
Calling about thirty of his men, who stood near him, 
to approach, he addressed them, pointing to me, 
“There is Ra-Mary, (father of Mary,) who tells me, 
that the heavens were made, the earth also, by a be¬ 
ginner, whom he calls Morimo. Have you ever heard 
anything to be compared with this ? He says that 
the sun rises and sets by the power of Morimo; as 
also that Morimo causes winter to follow summer, the 
winds to blow, the rain to fall, the grass to grow, and 
the trees to bud;” and casting his arm above and 



around him, added, God works in every thing you 
see or hear ! Did ever you hear such words ? ’’ See¬ 
ing them ready to burst into laughter, he said, “ Wait, 
I shall tell you more ; Ka-Mary tells me that we have 
spirits in us which will never die; and that our 
bodies^ though dead and buried, will rise and live 
again. Open your ears to-day; did you ever hear 
litlamane (fables) like these?’’ This was followed by 
a burst of deafening laughter, and on its partially sub¬ 
siding, the chief man begged me to say no more on 
such trifles, lest the people should think me mad ! 

But it is to the testimony of such as have been 
brought out of darkness into the marvellous light of 
the Gospel, that we must look for decisive evidence 
on this point. The following is one example out of 
many which could be given. The question being put 
to one whose memory was as tenacious as his judgment 
was enlightened, How did you feel in your natural 
state, before hearing the Gospel ? How did you feel 
upon retiring from private as well as public crimes, 
and laying your head upon the silent pillow ? Were 
there no fears in your breast, no spectres before your 
eyes, no conscience accusing you of having done 
wrong? No palpitations, no dread of futurity?” 
‘"No,” said he. How could we feel, or how could 
we fear ? AVe had no idea that an unseen eye saw 
us, or that an unseen ear heard us. AA^hat could we 
know be^^ond ourselves, or of another world, before 
life and immortality were brought to us by the word 
of God?” This declaration was followed by a flood 
of tears, while he added, “You found us beasts, and 
not men.” 


Works of creation insufficient—Knowledge of God not innate—In¬ 
visible things of God—What the Scriptures teach—Opinions of 
ancient philosophers—President Edwards’ argument—Reason in¬ 
sufficient—Roby’s conclusion on the subject—]\Ian’s responsi¬ 
bility—Native ceremonies—Customs originating with Doctors 
and Rain-makers—An unpleasant ceremony—Native poets or 
eulogists—Natural theology—Systems of idolatry—Their various 
grades—How Africa was colonized—Physical variety in man. 

The preceding chapter contains facts from which im¬ 
portant deductions may he drawn ; and the writer has 
involuntarily been led to incpire, Are we compelled to 
enter the gloomy recesses of heathenism ? If we look 
at home—a land of light—shall we not find individuals 
whose ignorance would equal that either of Hottentot 
or Bechuana ? Have not our noble band of home 
missionaries brought to light instances of the grossest 
darkness ? How many are there who have resisted 
the force of every argument on the subject, and even 
laughed to scorn every article in our creed, and have 
died martyrs to atheism ! Let us go to the asylums 
for the deaf and dumb, and we shall find there per¬ 
sons having eyes to see and gaze on the infinitude of 
wonders in creation, and possessing minds capable of 
reasoning from effect to cause, who, previous to their 
being instructed, were perfectly ignorant of a Divine 



Being. While^ then, we have these facts before us, we 
feel compelled to differ in opinion from those who 
would have us believe, that the volume of Nature 
‘^affords the primary and entire proof of God’s ex¬ 
istence and ‘Go vindicate his claim to he, he leaves 
to the heavens which declare his glory, to the firma¬ 
ment which showeth his handy work, to the days 
which utter knowledge, and the nights which pro¬ 
claim wisdom.” The preceding examples exhibit to 
our view sentient beings, whose minds, notwithstand¬ 
ing the indications of Divine wisdom, power, and 
goodness in creation, are unconscious of any existence 
beyond what they see and feel. This demonstrates 
that all the knowledge of Divine things existing in 
every nation, from the refined Greek down a thou¬ 
sand gradations, through the numberless shades of 
polytheism to the rude barbarian, is to be traced to 
Divine Revelation, whether written or traditional, and 
not to innate or intuitive ideas. This view of the 
subject we shall find, on more minute inquiry, in per¬ 
fect accordance with the declarations contained in the 
inspired volume. For “ it is He that teacheth man 
knowledge. I am the Lord that maketh all things, 
that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spread- 
eth abroad the heavens by myself.” These are the 
declarations of the great “ I AM;” and without such 
a revelation, the world by wisdom could never have 
found out God. It is recorded by some author, that 
there were two periods of the world in which the 
knowledge of God was universal. This was at the 
creation, and during the days of Noah, after the flood. 
At the former period the revelation must have been 
made known by God himself; and at the latter by 



the preacher of righteousness in his own family. 
Kee])ing this in mind, there is no difficulty in under¬ 
standing the following declaration of the Apostle, 
“ For the invisible things of Him (His eternal power 
and Godhead) revealed or made known at the crea¬ 
tion of the world, are clearly seen, being understood 
by the things that are made, even his eternal power 
and godhead.”"^ That the stupendous earth and 
heavens, tlie endless variety of order and change, and 
the dazzling beauty and grandeur of every thing 
touched by the finger of Jehovah, do testify with a 
voice, loud as the thunder’s roar, clear as the noon¬ 
tide beam, there can he no question ; but surely not 
by uttering speech to a previously uninformed mind, 
and conveying the primary idea of the existence of 
God. This, in my humble opinion, is not what the 
Apostle intended to convey, but simply that God 
originally imparted the knowledge of his own being 
to man, and that tradition has circulated the report 
through the nations of the earth, which has under- 

* Romans i. 20 :—“ For (y«p, nam, siquidem, forasmuch as) the 
invisible things of him, his eternal power and godhead, as afterwards 
explained,/rom not tK, but a-rrh, ever since, the creation of the world, 
when they were fully communicated, are clearly seen, because after 
a declaration of his nature and existence, the Divine attributes are 
plainly evinced, being understood voovfitva, explained to the under¬ 
standing, by the things that are made, Troihgaffi^ the wmrks of God, 
or things which he liad done, not only of creation but of provi¬ 
dence, in the deluge, in the wonderful preservation of the church, 
and destruction of his enemies, in bis many appearances, miracles, 
and interpositions with mankind, wliicli, through all ages, had been 
related to them, and were a sensible demonstration of omniscience, 
omnipotence, invisibility, and immateriality, even his eternal power 
and godhead, which alone could elfect such wonderful things.”— 
Ellis on Divine Things. 



gone, by Satanic influence on the minds of fallen 
creatures, all those modifications presented to us in 
the pantheon, or in the minds of savages. 

The Scriptures, so far from teaching us that we 
may infer the being of a God from the works of 
creation, assert that our knowledge of the visible 
universe^ as the production of God’s creative power, 
is derived, not from the deductions of reason, but 
from a belief of the Divine testimony revealing the 
fact: Through faith we understand that the worlds 

were made by the word of God, so that things which 
are seen were not made of things which do appear.”* 
Such as advocate the dignity of human reason may 
spin a fine theory, but let them go to the hut or the 
den of the sunburnt African, and ask if any such a 
system has been spun by these children of nature. 
It is easy to detect the borrowed plumes with which 
the heathen moralists bedecked their bright effusions. 
Philosophers and poets find no difficulty in follow¬ 
ing nature to nature’s God, when they have reve¬ 
lation to lead the way, but let them point out to 
us nations who have found the Almighty without 
other aids than their own resources. It is to this 
that Tertullian refers, when he asks them, ‘‘ Which 
of your poets, which of your sophisters, have not 
drank from the fountains of the prophets?” and thus, 
as Dr. Ellis expresses it, their noblest flights took 
wing from the gospel.” Many heathen philosophers, 
who possessed advantages vastly superior to any of 
Africa’s sons, instead of inferring from works of 
creation, the existence of a Supreme Being, generally 

^ Heb. xi. 3. 



maintained that the matter, and some even that the 
form of the world itself^ was eternal, and others again 
substituted parts of the visible universe for God him¬ 
self. Even no less a person than the learned philo¬ 
sopher Dr. Clarke, the defender of natural religion, 
admits, that ‘‘ of the philosophers themselves, who 
should have corrected the errors of the vulgar, some 
argued themselves out of the belief of the very being 
of God.” The following from President Edwards’s 

Miscellaneous Observations,” will be found to throw 
additional light on the subject:— 

“ If the most sagacious of the philosophers were capable of doing 
this, after hearing so much of a first cause and a creation, what 
would they have done, and. what would the gross of mankind, who 
are inattentive and ignorant, have thought of the matter, if nothing 
had been taught concerning God and the origin of things ; but every 
single man left solely to such intimation as his own senses and reason 
could have given him ? We find the earlier ages of the world did 
not trouble themselves about the question, whether the being of God 
could be proved by reason; but either never inquired into the mat¬ 
ter, or took their opinions upon that head, merely from tradition. 
But allowing that every man is able to demonstrate to himself, that 
the world, and all things contained therein, are effects, and had a 
beginning, which I take to be a most absurd supposition, and look 
upon it to be almost impossible for unassisted reason to go so far ; 
yet, if effects are to be ascribed to similar causes, and a good and 
wise effect must siqipose a good and wise cause ; by the same way 
of reasoning, all the evil and irregularity in the world must be attri¬ 
buted to an evil and unwise cause. So that either the first cause 
must be both good and evil, wise and foolish, or else there must be 
two first causes, an evil and irrational, as well as a good and wise 
principle. Thus man, left to himself, would be apt to reason, ‘ If 
the cause and the effects are similar and conformable, matter must 
have a material cause, there being nothing more im])ossible for us to 
conceive than how matter should be produced by spirit, or any thing 
else but matter.’ The best reasoner in the world, endeavouring to 
find out the causes of things by the things themselves, might be led 




into the grossest errors and contradictions, and find himself, at the 
end, in extreme want of an instructor. 

“What instance can be mentioned, from any history, of any one 
nation under the sun, that emerged from atheism or idolatry into 
the knowledge or adoration of the one true God, without the assist¬ 
ance of revelation? The Americans, the Africans, the Tartars, and 
the ingenious Chinese, have had time enough, one would think, 
to find out the right and true idea of God; and yet, after above 
five thousand years’ improvement, and the full exercise of reason, 
they have, at this day, gone no farther in their progress towards the 
true religion, than to the worship of stocks and stones and devils. 
How many thousands of years must be allowed to these nations to 
reason themselves into the true religion ? What the light of nature 
and reason could do to investigate the knowledge of God, is best 
seen by what they have already done. We cannot argue more con¬ 
vincingly on any foundation than that of known and incontestable 

All this, and much more that might be said on the 
subject, goes to prove, that reason, whose province 
is not to invent, but to collect, arrange, and deduce, 
cannot discover first principles ; and that unless these 
are supplied by the law and the testimony, the mind 
must wander as it has done in the bewilderina: maze 
of uncertainty, and darken instead of seeing more 
clearly the reflected beams of revealed truth, which 
tradition has conveyed like a glimmering ray to the 
minds of most of the inhabitants of our globe. 

It appears evident, then, from what has been written, 
that all the relics of theology to be found in heathen 
lands, are only the remaining fragments which have 
been handed down by a vitiated and defective tra¬ 
dition. But more than this, we find people not only 
in Africa, hut in other parts of the world, from whose 
intellectual horizon the last rays of tradition have 
fled,—proving what the Scriptures affirm, that man’s 

roby’s conclusions on the subject. 


depraved nature is such, as to choose darkness rather 
than light,—and who have now most emphatically 
forgotten God. The late Rev. William Rohy, in his 
‘‘ Lectures on Revealed Religion,’’ from which some 
hints have been taken, makes the following remarks : 

“With respect to ourselves, it must be admitted, that we de¬ 
rived our knowledge of the truth from instruction ; and wherever 
it exists, it may be traced through antecedent generations, to the 
first parents of the human race : and they could derive it from no 
other than their Creator. The advocates of human reason and 
natural religion, may talk and write on these subjects, hut their 
systems 'are radically defective in various respects. They are not 
only obscure and confused ; inadequate and imperfect; different and 
contradictory ; but are all of them merely hypothetical. They are 
founded upon nothing but presumption, they cannot justly yretend 
to certainty, for they acknowledge no infallible standard ; present¬ 
ing no evidence of Divine authority, they have no claim to religious 
obligation. Acknowledging no positive rule, no decisive testimony, 
no superior tribunal; one individual pretending to reason, exer¬ 
cising his judgment upon them, has as great a right to deny, as an¬ 
other has to affirm.” 

Since the publication of my sermon, preached be¬ 
fore the Directors of the London Missionary Society, 
many questions have been put to me on the preced¬ 
ing subjects, which has induced me to proceed at 
greater length in this discussion. As to the question 
of man’s responsibility, according to these views, the 
same question may be put with equal propriety, in 
reference to the idolater, whose too superstitious” 
parents taught him from earliest infancy to venerate 
a block of wood, or reptile deified; or in reference 
to the deaf and dumb, or many others, whose senses 
are entire, whose minds were never cultivated by those 
who might have saved them. “Ye knew your duty, 

T 2 


man’s responsibility. 

but ye did it notwill be the great condemning 
charge brought against the wilful transgressor, by 
the Judge of all the earth. The issue of the prin¬ 
ciples inculcated by Him, who shall come in flaming 
fire to take vengeance on those that know not God, 
will be, that He who knew his Lord’s will, and did 
it not, shall be beaten with many stripes ; but he 
who knew not his Lord’s will, and committed deeds 
worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.” 
The apostle Paul asserts to the Athenians, that the 
times of pagan ignorance, “ God winked at, but now 
commandeth all men every where to repent.” The 
same apostle, feeling the full weight of the Saviour’s 
commission, adds to the fearful list of iniquities and 
flagitious sins committed by his own countrymen the 
Jews, that of “forbidding him and his colleagues to 
preach to the Gentiles, that they might be saved.” 
Thus, if the apostle is to be our example, and the 
commands of the Saviour are to be our guide, our 
duty is as plain as if written by a noontide ray, to 
make known to perishing heathen, whether at home 
or abroad, the words of eternal life. 

Before concluding this general review of the pre¬ 
vailing notions which exist among the tribes of 
Southern Africa, which throw some light on their 
origin, and present the most formidable barriers to 
their evangelization, a few remnants of tradition 
may be noticed. Among the tribes, and especially 
those nearer to the coast, some customs remain 
which are thought to have a reference to sacrifices, 
offerings, and purifications; such as might be ex¬ 
pected to be found among people descending from 
the East, as all the Bechuana tribes appear to 



have done. In many instances, their slaughtering 
of animals on occasions of a tree being struck with 
lightning, or to procure rain, or to restore the sick, 
may be easily traced to the inventive brain of wily 
rain-makers, who in such a case, as at their public 
festivals and ceremonies, never lose sight of their 
stomachs. One will try to coax the sickness out of 
a chieftain by setting him astride an ox, with its feet 
and legs tied, and then smothering the animal by hold¬ 
ing its nose in a large bowl of water. A feast follows, 
and the ox is devoured, sickness and all. A sorcerer 
will pretend he cannot find out the guilty person, or 
where the malady of another lies, till he has got him 
to kill an ox, on which he manoeuvres by cutting 
out certain parts. Another doctor will require a 
goat, which he kills over the sick person, allowing 
the blood to run down the body. Another will require 
the fat of the kidney of a fresh slaughtered goat, 
saving, that any old fat will not do ; and thus he 
comes in for his chop. These slaughterings are pre¬ 
scribed according to the wealth of the individual, so 
that a stout ox might be the cure for a slight cold in 
a chieftain, while a kid would be a remedy for a fever 
‘among the poor, among whom there was no chance 
of obtaining any thing greater. The above cere¬ 
monies might with little difficulty be construed into 
sacrifices, if we felt anxious to increase the number 
of traditionary remains. Is it, however, to be won¬ 
dered at, among a' pastoral people whose choicest 
viand is broiled or boiled meat, and to whom fat of 
any kind is like the richest cordial, that they should 
solemnize every event or circumstance with beef? 
\\ hen a covenant is made between parties, or a mutual 



treaty entered into, one animal or more must be 
killed ; and, like Jacob and Laban of old, they eat 
together. All this is very natural, but the following 
is not so agreeable a part of the business. When 
Sibonelo, a chief of the Barolong, made a covenant 
with Buys, who fled to him from .Kafir-land, the 
paunch of a large ox was taken, with its contents, 
and an incision being made in each side of the sto¬ 
mach, the one forced his body through it, and the 
other followed, intimating by this ceremony that 
they were henceforward one people. But, beyond 
these, there is something more like sacrifice among 
the Zoolus, or what may with more propriety be 
viewed as honouring the manes of the dead, to which 
reference will be made in my journey to Moselekatse. 
However, it never appeared to me that they deified 
them, any more than the thoughtless in this country 
do, when they swear by St. George. The distin¬ 
guished and heroic deeds of those who have signalized 
themselves in aggrandizing the nation^ are the theme 
of their songs, like those of Ossian the son of Fingal. 
Their poets and public eulogists, to please their vain 
monarch, work themselves up to a state of enthu¬ 
siasm bordering on phrenzy^, and attribute the most ‘ 
unbounded powers and achievements to personages 
of royalty and fame. Similar customs, doubtless, 
gave rise to the deified heroes of antiquity. 

Is it surprising that ignorant, and, not unfrequently, 
feeble-minded chiefs should yield to a kind of super¬ 
stitious veneration and regard for the names of those 
who have distinguished themselves by deeds of valour, 
until by frequent contemplation and eulogy they 
become most exaggerated and extravagant, so as to 



foster pride and vain glory, and awaken the sus¬ 
picion of something more than human ? This has 
been the custom of all ages^ and has been the fertile 
means of throwing an impenetrable veil over the 
history of many characters and events, when the 
absence of letters prevented their being handed down 
to posterity in their naked form. 

The ceremonies to be found among the Bechu- 
anas, apparently of Mosaic or patriarchal origin, are 
I’ound upon examination to be like shells without 
the kernel. Whatever may have been their origin, 
they have merged into the ordinary habits of savage 
life, and centuries ago lost the last vestiges of the 
tradition of their original design. Happy for us that 
we have not been left to feel after God among the 
distant orbs of heaven, or amid the diversified dis¬ 
plays of power and skill in our own world. “ If, 
therefore, natural theology is rightly defined to be 
that which is attainable by the light of nature only, 
then all who have the light of nature, and the use 
of reason, are capable of attaining it; otherwise, the 
definition will be false and imperfect. The general 
character of man will hold true^ that he is without 
knowledge till he receives instruction, and without 
conscience till informed what the will of God is.”* 

The multitude of ignorant savages to he found in 
the world corroborates this statement, and the means 
by which some have sunk lower than others in the 
depth of ignorance, may be easily traced. Nations 
who have the sacred monuments of the past before 
their eyes from age to age, have the mementos of 
what they are intended to represent, and are constantly 

* Ellis oil Divine Things. 



reminded by this means of the religion of their 

If we look over the map of the Gentile world, we 
find the victims of all the grades of idolatry, from the 
most refined and abstract to the most savage and de¬ 
based, involved in the gross darkness described in the 
preceding pages. Some nations from time immemorial 
have been under the domination of systems so cruel, 
that their tenets may be read in characters of blood. 
Those of others are involved in so many laby¬ 
rinths, that we cannot ascribe their contrivance to 
even a host of the most inventive minds, or to the 
experience of a succession of ages. If we examine 
those idolatrous structures which crush so many 
millions of our race in the East, which have en¬ 
dured for ages, and with their multiplied ramifica¬ 
tions, have tried the faith and zeal of the churches 
of Christ, the most legitimate conclusion at which we 
can arrive is, that Satan, the god of this world, has 
been most successful in aiding the minds of men 
completely to transform ‘‘ the invisible things” first 
revealed to man. Although it must be admitted that 
the Hindoos are highly intellectual, and their system 
is indicative of superlative cunning, yet, such is the 
delusion of its votaries, that they give themselves up, 
as if reason had reeled from its pivot, to a worship 
at which a babe might shriek with terror, or smile at 
as a toy. 

The immense structures that have been raised to 
perpetuate these strange commixtures of heaven and 
hell, and the puzzling dogmas of their shasters, only 
serve to retain the minds of millions in the grossest 



We might select other grades, such as are to be 
found in the Eastern Archipelago, the South Sea 
Islands, or America, diverging, according to their 
respective positions, still farther from the original 
symbols of divine worship. As we traverse the more 
sequestered sections of the great human family, we 
find the glimmering rays of tradition still less con¬ 
spicuous. Some even have before their eyes the 
sacred remains of former ages in gigantic busts, or 
broken piles of ruined grandeur, which once echoed 
to the tones of idolatrous devotion, where hecatombs 
were slain, and which were perfumed with the in¬ 
cense of votive offerings, while myriads there shouted, 
“ Great is Diana.” Ask their descendants or suc¬ 
cessors what these things mean, and they are silent 
as the lifeless deities before their eyes. Among some 
a few shadows seem still to linger, which the fancy 
of a sorcerer employs to feed the mind of the popu¬ 
lace with ideas more gross than could have arisen 
from the absence of all tradition. Thus we find in 
the downward scale of human degradation, men who, 
as the apostle says, “ did not like to retain God in 
their knowledge,” turn the truth into a lie or an idol. 
These again become varied according to the fancies 
of their votaries : others are content with fetiches 
and charms, and finally, some, from their nomade life 
and isolated position, have lost all idea of the being 
of a God. 

If we find in some parts of the world those who, 
though reclining under the very shadow of edifices of 
idolatry, are ignorant of their origin or use; what are 
we to expect from Africans, whose progenitors, I am 
led to suppose, were not very civilized themselves 



when they first began to people their vast continent ? 
Africa, doubtless, was originally peopled by each 
family or tribe of its first settlers becoming too 
numerous for its locality; some branching out to 
the more sequestered parts ; and, not unfrequently, 
communities rent asunder by intestine broils, have 
sought separate settlements elsewhere ; others, again, 
have been driven to take refuge from a superior force 
in the recesses of the wild champaign ; and, lastly, 
little communities have probably arisen, from rebels 
and murderers, whose crimes have compelled them 
to seek shelter among beasts of prey. We can readily 
perceive from these circumstances, how easy it was 
for a people during such a lapse of time, descending 
from Mizraim and Phut, and migrating through 
Egypt; or descending from Cush, and passing from 
Arabia to the eastern and southern parts of the African 
continent, from the fierce and restless tribes of Ish- 
mael, to forget every vestige of the creeds of their 
progenitors. It is easy for men to degenerate in 
religion and civilization, especially when compelled 
to lead a wandering life, which is by no means favour¬ 
able to the cultivation of devotion in the soul; but 
numberless examples prove, that nothing less than 
a divine lever can raise them. In all ages hunger 
and ignorance have been the great brutalizers of the 
human raceand, if we look at the large tracts 
of barren country inhabited by some of the African 
tribes, it is not surprising that they are what they 
are,—ignorant, filthy, and sometimes very disgusting 
in their appearance. Degraded as they are, they 
merit not the epithets which have been heaped upon 
them, by those who are unmindful that their position 



only has prevented them from becoming Hottentots 
and Bushmen themselves. 

We close our remarks on this subject by a quota¬ 
tion from ‘ ‘ Researches into the Physical History of 
Mankind,” by Dr. Prichard, 

“ Tf these tribes are, as I have endeavoured to prove, not a dis¬ 
tinct class of nations, but only the offsets of stems, differing widely 
from them when existing under more favourable circumstances ; if 
the apparent inferiority in their organization, their ugliness, thin, 
meagre, and deformed stature, are usually connected with jdiysical 
conditions unfavourable to the development of bodily vigour,— 
there will be no proof of original inferiority in any thing that can he 
adduced respecting them. Their personal deformity and intellec¬ 
tual weakness, if these attributes really belong to them, must he 
regarded as individual varieties. Similar defects are produced in 
every part of the human race by the agency of physical circum¬ 
stances parallel to those under which the tribes in question are 
known to exist. If these were reversed, it is probable that a few 
generations would obliterate the effect which has resulted from 
them.”—Vol. ii. p. 349, &c. 

It may also be here added, from the same learned 

“ That they have not indeed contributed towards the advancement 
of human art or science, but they have shown themselves willing 
and able to profit by these advantages when introduced among 
them. The civilization of many African nations is much superior 
to that of the Aborigines of Europe, during the ages which preceded 
the conquests of the Goths and Swedes in the north, and the Ro¬ 
mans in the southern parts.” 


Indifference to instruction—The women monopolize tire water — 
Patience tried—Situation of a Missionary’s wife — Character of 
our congregations—Cunning thieves—The bewitched pot — Con¬ 
solations—Acquiring the language—Character of interpreters — 
Errors inevitable — Serious blunders — Divine support — Itinerat¬ 
ing—Native views of the Missionary character—A generous offer 
—The Moravians in Greenland—Paul’s preaching at Athens — 
An example to Missionaries— A Hottentot woman — Her affliction 
and penitence. 

We shall now return to our labours among the Bech- 
uanas, which had already been carried on for about 
five years. The natives had by this time become 
perfectly callous and indifferent to all instruction, ex¬ 
cept it were followed by some temporal benefit in 
assisting them with the labour of our hands, which 
was not always in our power. The following, extract 
from a letter written at this time, depicts our real 
situation: —‘‘ I often feel at a loss what to say rela¬ 
tive to the kingdom of Christ at this station. A 
sameness marks the events of each returning day. 
No conversions, no inquiry after God, no objections 
raised to exercise our powers in defence. Indiffer¬ 
ence and stupidity form the wreath on every brow — 
ignorance, the grossest ignorance of Divine things, 
forms the basis of every action ; it is only things 


earthly, sensual, and devilish, which stimulate to acti¬ 
vity and mirth, while the great subject of the soul’s 
' redemption appears to them like an old and ragged 
garment, possessing neither loveliness nor worth. 
Oh, when shall the day-star arise on their hearts ! 
We preach, we converse, we catechise, we pray, but 
without the least apparent success. Only satiate 
their mendicant spirits by perpetually giving, and we 
are all that is good, hut refuse to meet their demands, 
their praises are turned to ridicule and abuse.” 

Our time was incessantly occupied in building, and 
labouring frequently for the meat that perisheth ; but 
our exertions were often in vain, for while we sowed, 
the natives reaped. The site of the station was a 
light sandy soil, where no kind of vegetables would 
grow without constant irrigation. Our water ditch, 
which was some miles in length, had been led out of 
the Kuruman River, and passed in its course through 
the gardens of the natives. As irrigation was to them 
entirely unknown, fountains and streams had been 
suffered to run to waste, where crops even of native 
grain, (holcus sorghum,) which supports amazing 
drought, are seldom very abundant from the general 
scarcity of rain. The native women, seeing the fer¬ 
tilizing effect of the water in our gardens, thought 
very naturally that they had an equal right to their 
own, and took the liberty of cutting open our water 
ditch, and allowing it on some occasions to flood theirs. 
This mode of proceeding left us at times without a 
drop of water, even for culinary purposes. It was 
in vain that we pleaded, and remonstrated with the 
chiefs, the women were the masters in this matter. 
Mr. Hamilton and I were daily compelled to go alter- 



nately three miles with a spade, about three o’clock 
P.M., the hottest time of the day, and turn in the 
many outlets into native gardens, that we might have 
a little moisture to refresh our hurnt-up vegetables 
during the night, which we were obliged ta irrigate 
when we ought to have rested from the labours 
of the day. Many night watches were spent in this 
way : and after we had raised with great labour vege¬ 
tables, so necessary to our constitutions, the natives 
would steal them by day as well as by night, and after 
a year’s toil and care we scarcely reaped anything to 
reward us for our labour. The women would watch 
our return from turning the streams into the water¬ 
course, and would immediately go and open the out¬ 
lets again, thus leaving us on a thirsty plain, many 
days without a drop of water, excepting that which 
was carried from a distant fountain, under a cloudless 
sky, when the thermometer at noon would frequently 
rise to 120° in the shade. When we complained of 
this, the women, who one would have thought would 
have been the first to appreciate the principles by 
which we were actuated, became exasperated, and 
going to the higher dam, where the water was led out 
of the river, with their picks completely destroyed it, 
allowing the stream to flow in its ancient bed. By 
this means the supply of water we formerly had was 
reduced to one-half, and that entirely at the mercy 
of those who loved us only when we could supply 
them with tobacco, repair their tools, or administer 
medicine to the afflicted. But all this, and much 
more, failed to soften their feelings towards us. 
Mrs. Moffat, from these circumstances, and the want 
of female assistance, has been compelled to send 



the heavier part of our linen a hundred miles to he 

Our situation might be better conceived than de¬ 
scribed : not one believed our report among the thou¬ 
sands by whom we were surrounded. Native aid, 
especially to the wife of the missionary, though not to 
be dispensed with, was a source of anxiety, and an 
addition to our cares ; for any individual might not 
only threaten, but carry a rash purpose into effect. 
For instance, Mrs. M., with a babe in her arms, 
begged, and that very humbly, of a woman, just to be 
kind enough to move out of a temporary kitchen, that 
she might shut it as usual before going into the place 
of worship. The woman, a plebeian, seized a piece 
of wood to hurl it at Mrs. M.’s head, who of course 
immediately escaped to the house of God, leaving her 
the undisputed occupant of the kitchen, any of the 
contents of which she would not hesitate to appro¬ 
priate to her own use. It required no little fortitude 
and forbearance in the wife of the missionary, who 
had to keep at home, and attend to the cares and 
duties of a family, to have the house crowded with 
tliose who would seize a stone, and dare interference 
on her part. As many men and women as pleased 
might come into our hut, leaving us not room even to 
turn ourselves, and making every thing they touched 
the colour of their own greasy red attire ; while some 
were talking, others would be sleeping, and some 
pilfering whatever they could lay their hands upon. 
This would keep the housewife a perfect prisoner in a 
suffocating atmosphere, almost intolerable ; and when 
they departed they left ten times more than their 
number behind—company still more offensive. As it 


was not pleasant to take our meals amongst such filth, 
our dinner was often deferred for hours, hoping for 
their departure ; but, after all, it had to be eaten when 
the natives were despatching their game at our feet. 

Our attendance at public worship would vary from 
one to forty; and these very often manifesting the 
greatest indecorum. Some would be snoring; others 
laughing ; some working ; and others, who might even 
be styled the noblesse, would be employed in removing 
from their ornaments certain nameless insects, letting 
them run about the forms, while sitting by the mis¬ 
sionary’s wife. Never having been accustomed to 
chairs or stools, some, by way of imitation, would sit 
with their feet on the benches, having their knees, 
according to their usual mode of sitting, drawn up to 
their chins. In this position one would fall asleep 
and tumble over, to the great merriment of his fellows. 
On some occasions an opportunity would be watched 
to rob, when the missionary was engaged in public 
service. The thief would just put his head within the 
door, discover who was in the pulpit, and, knowing he 
could not leave his rostrum before a certain time had 
elapsed, would go to his house and take what he could 
lay his hands upon. When Mr. Hamilton and I met 
in the evening, we almost always had some tale to tell 
about our losses, but never about our gains, except 
those of resignation and peace, the results of patience, 
and faith in the unchangeable purposes of Jehovah. 
‘‘ I will be exalted among the heathen,” cheered our 
often baffled and drooping spirits. 

Some nights, or rather mornings, we had to record 
thefts committed in the course of twentv-four hours in 
our houses, our smith-shop, our garden, and among 



our cattle in the field. These they have more than 
once driven into a bog or mire, at a late hour inform¬ 
ing us of the accident, as they termed it; and, as it 
was then too dark to render assistance, one or more 
would fall a prey to the hyenas or hungry natives. 
One night they entered our cattle-fold, killed one of 
our best draught oxen, and carried the whole aw^ay 
except one shoulder. We w’^ere compelled to use 
much meat, from the great scarcity of grain and vege¬ 
tables : our sheep had to purchase at a distance; 
and very thankful might we be, if, out of twenty, we 
secured the largest half for ourselves. They would 
break, their legs, cut off their tails, and more fre¬ 
quently carry off the whole carcase. Tools, such as 
saw^s, axes, and adzes, were losses severely felt, as we 
could not at that time replace them, when there was 
no intercourse whatever with the Colony. Some of 
our tools and utensils which they stole, on finding the 
metal not what they expected, they wmuld bring back, 
beaten into all shapes, and offer them in exchange for 
some other article of value. Knives were always 
eagerly coveted; our metal spoons they melted: and 
when we were supplied wfith plated iron ones, which 
they found not so pliable, they supposed them be¬ 
witched. Very often, when employed working at a 
distance from the house, if there was no one in whom 
he could confide, the missionary wmuld be compelled 
to carry them all to the place where he went to seek a 
draught of w^ater, well knowing that if they were left 
they would take wings before he could return. 

The following ludicrous circumstance once hap¬ 
pened, and was related to the writer by a native in 
graphic style. Two men had succeeded in stealing 




an iron pot. Having just taken it from the fire, it 
was rather warm for handing conveniently over a 
fence, and by doing so, it fell on a stone and was 
cracked. “It is iron,” said they, and oif they went 
with their booty, resolving to make the best of it, 
that is, if it would not serve for cooking, they would 
transform it into knives and spears. After some 
time had elapsed, and the hue and cry about the 
missing pot had nearly died away, it was brought 
forth to a native smith, who had laid in a stock of 
charcoal for the occasion. The pot was farther broken 
to make it more convenient to lay hold of with the 
tongs, which are generally of the bark of a tree. 
The native Vulcan, unacquainted with cast-iron, hav¬ 
ing with his small bellows, one in each hand, produced 
a good heat, drew a piece from the fire. To his 
utter amazement it flew into pieces at the first stroke 
of his little hammer. Another and another piece 
was brought under the action of the fire, and then 
under the hammer, with no better success. Both 
the thief and the smith, gazing with eyes and mouth 
dilated on the fragments of iron scattered round the 
stone anvil, declared their belief that the pot was 
bewitched, and concluded pot-stealing to be a bad 

Mr. Hamilton, whose house was frequently left 
alone, fared worse than when there was any one to 
keep an eye on visitors. He has more than once 
returned from preaching, and found a stone left in 
the pot instead of the meat on which he had hoped 
to dine. Indeed there would be no end to describing 
all the losses, mortifications, and disappointments we 
daily met with in the course of our duty. We can 



never look back on those years of sorrow without 
lifting up our hearts to God in grateful adoration 
for the grace afforded, while we hung our harps 
upon the willows, and after years of labour felt as 
if it would never fall to our lot to sing the song 
of triumph in a strange land. Often have we met 
together to read the word of God, that never-fail¬ 
ing source of comfort, and, contented with being 
only the pioneers, have poured out our souls in 
prayer for the perishing heathen around. There were 
seasons when, by faith in the sure word of promise, 
we could look beyond ‘Ghe gloomy hills of dark¬ 
ness,” and rejoice in the full assurance of hope in 
the approaching latter-day glory. These were a 
few of our difficulties, while others, more perplexing 
still, arose from the conduct of individuals who had 
accompanied the missionaries as assistants. These, 
though selected from other stations as professors of 
religion, when they came to associate with the natives, 
exhibited much of that weakness which may be ex¬ 
pected from people just emerging from the grossness 
of heathenism. When the needful discipline was exer¬ 
cised on some, others were offended, and thus caused 
much pain of mind, by an exhibition of improper 
tempers towards those whose only object was to save 
them from ruin. The Bechuanas could not fail to 
observe these inconsistencies, and thus they became 
stumbling-blocks to the heathen. 

The acquisition of the language was an object of 
the first importance. This was to be done under 
circumstances tbe most unfavourable, as there was 
neither time nor place of retirement for study, and 
no inter])reter worthy the name. A few, and but 

u 2 



a few words were collected, and these very incorrect 
from the ignorance of the interpreter of the gram¬ 
matical structure either of his own or the Dutch 
language, through which medium all our intercourse 
was carried on. It was something like groping in 
the dark, and many were the ludicrous blunders I 
made. The more waggish of those from whom I 
occasionally obtained sentences and forms of speech, 
would richly enjoy the fun, if they succeeded in lead¬ 
ing me into egregious mistakes and shameful blunders; 
but though I had to pay dear for my credulity, I 
learned something. After being compelled to attend 
to every species of manual, and frequently menial, 
labour for the whole day, working under a burning 
sun, standing on the saw-pit, labouring at the anvil, 
treading clay, or employed in cleaning a water ditch, 
it may be imagined that I was in no very fit condition 
for study, even when a quiet hour could be obtained 
in the evening for that purpose. And this was not 
all; an efficient interpreter could not be found in the 
country ; and when every thing was ready for inquiry, 
the native mind, unaccustomed to analyze abstract 
terms, would after a few questions, be completely 
bewildered. I can fully enter into the feelings of 
Dr. Burchell, in the following extract from his tra¬ 
vels, bearing directly on the subject:— 

“ Those whose minds have been expanded by a European edu¬ 
cation, cannot readily conceive tbe stwpidity, as they would call it, 
of savages, in every thing beyond the most simple ideas and the 
most uncompounded notions, either in moral or in physical know¬ 
ledge. But, the fact is, their life embraces so few incidents, their 
occupations, their thoughts, and their cares are confined to so few 
objects, that their ideas must necessarily be equally few, and equally 



confined. I have sometimes been obliged to allow Moclmnka to 
leave off the task when he had scarcely ‘given me a dozen of words ; 
as it was evident that exertion of mind, or continued employment 
of the faculty of thinhing^ soon wore out his powers of reflection, 
and rendered him really incapable of paying any longer attention to 
the subject. On such occasions, he would betray by his listlessness 
and the vacancy of his countenance, that abstract questions of the 
plainest kind soon exhausted all mental strength, and reduced him 
to the state of a child whose reason was dormant. He would then 
complain that his head began to ache ; and as it was useless to 
persist invitd Minerva, he always received immediately his dismissal 
for that day.” 

The reducing of an oral language to writing being 
so important to the missionary, he ought to have 
every encouragement afforded him, and be supplied 
with the means necessary for the attainment of such 
an object. The Bechuanas, though they had never 
known the worth of time, could, like men in general, 
set a high value on service done to a stranger. They 
supposed that, as we were supported by resources, 
not drawn from the country, we had only to call for 
riches, and thev would come ; while at the same time 
we had the greatest difficulty in making both ends 
meet, which indeed we could not have accomplished 
without personal hard labour. 

A missionary who commences giving direct instruc¬ 
tion to the natives, though far from being competent 
in the language, is proceeding on safer ground than 
if he were employing an interpreter, who is not pro¬ 
ficient in both languages, and who has not a tolerable 
understanding of the doctrines of the Gospel. Trust¬ 
ing to an ignorant and unqualified interpreter, is at¬ 
tended with consequences not only ludicrous, hut 
dangerous to the very objects which lie nearest the 



missionary’s heart. The natives will smile, and make 
allowances for the blundering speeches of the mission¬ 
ary ; and though some may convey the very opposite 
meaning to that which he intends, they know from 
his general character what it should be, and ascribe 
the blunder to his ignorance of the language. They 
are not so charitable towards his interpreter, whose 
interest it is to make them believe that he is master 
of a language of which they know nothing, and con¬ 
sequently they take for granted, that all is correct 
which comes through his lips. I have been very 
much troubled in my mind on hearing that the most 
erroneous renderings have been given to what I had 
said. Since acquiring the language, I have had op¬ 
portunities of discovering this with my own ears, by 
hearing sentences translated, which at one moment 
were calculated to excite no more than a smile, while 
othersVould produce intense agony of mind from their 
bordering on blasphemy, and which the interpreter 
gave as the word of God. The interpreter who can¬ 
not himself read, and who understands very partially 
what he is translating, if he is not a very humble one, 
will, as I have often heard, introduce a cart-wheel, 
or an ox-tail into some passage of simple sublimity 
of Holy Writ, just because some word in the sentence 
had a similar sound. Thus for the passage, The sal¬ 
vation of the soul is a great and important subject;” 

The salvation of the soul is a very great sack,'’ must 
sound strange, indeed. Oh, it is an untold blessing 
for one in such circumstances to have an humble 
and devout interpreter, who feels the very words glow 
as they pass through his lips. I have felt in Nama- 
qua-land, with such an one, as if a holy unction from 



above were resting both on myself and interpreter. 
Alas ! for us among the Bechuanas, ours was not of 
this description ; he had accompanied Mr. Campbell 
to Kurrechane, brought home a concubine with him, 
and a})ostatizing, became an enemy to the mission. 

This was one of the trials to which allusion has 
been made, and was a severe blow; while the heathen 
laughed at our puny efforts to reform the nation. 
They had boasted that our Jesus and Jehovah, of 
whom we liked to talk so frequently, should never 
get one convert to bow the knee to their sway; and 
now these boasts were reiterated with epithets of con¬ 
tumely and scorn. Sometimes a cheering ray would 
pierce through the thick gloom which hung over 
our prospects, in the form of a kind word or action 
on the part of a chief or person of influence, though 
that was generally either the precursor of a favour 
to be asked, or a return for one granted. We needed 
the graces of faith and patience, and but for almighty 
support, we must have fainted and fallen in the 
struggle. It was then that the prayers of the churches 
at home were answered, though not in the way 
human minds anticipated. It was then that the 
Divine promises were perused with renewed feelings 
of ardour and consolation ; and it was then that we 
were taught experimentally, that it was not by 
might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the 
Lord.” It did indeed produce a melancholy feeling, 
when we looked around us, on so many immortal 
beings, not one of whom loved us, none sympathized, 
none considered the day of their merciful visitation ; 
but with their lives, as with their lips, were saying to 
the Almighty, “ Depart from us, we desire not the 
knowledge of thy ways.” 



With such interpreters and aids as we could ob¬ 
tain, we ceased not to lift up our voices to proclaim 
the Gospel jubilee. The commission of Him who 
tasted death for every man, dwelt on our tongues ; and 
though the declaration of Omnipotence, “ My word 
shall not return unto me void,” assured us that our 
labours were not in vain, still we felt it an arduous 
employ. Every means was resorted to, and every 
season improved, to arrest the attention of the native 
mind, and every thing hopeful, even in the counte¬ 
nance of an individual, was eagerly treasured up in 
our hearts ; but to our grief, we found every indica¬ 
tion like the morning cloud and the early dew. We 
itinerated by turn every Sabbath, to the neighbour¬ 
ing villages ; and very frequently after four and five 
miles’ walk, could not get an individual to listen to 
the message of Divine mercy. Without the influence 
of the chief men of the hamlet, it was scarcely pos¬ 
sible at any time to collect a few individuals together; 
and if this was accomplished, they thought they were 
entitled to a reward for the exercise of their authority 
in promoting the object of our wishes; and not un- 
frequently, when they commanded, or, rather, pre¬ 
tended to command the attendance of their people, 
they laughed at the mandate, which they well knew 
was only that of the lips. Finding that a little bit of 
tobacco had some influence in increasing oar congre¬ 
gations at these out-places, as well as for the purpose 
of obtaining a draught of water, we would take a 
small portion of our little stock; but when we hap¬ 
pened to forget it, we were frequently told to go back 
first, and bring the tobacco. We were wont to start 
very early, having to go on foot, in order to return 
to the station before the sun got so hot as to cause 


walking on the sand, especially in thin shoes, to he 
attended with considerable pain. I have known the 
chief of a village defer the collecting of his people 
together till the sun had become very hot, knowing 
our extreme reluctance to return without having had 
an opportunity of saying something to them about 
their eternal interests ; and when they found this 
delay compelled the missionary, in his course home¬ 
ward over a sandy plain, to step from one tuft of 
grass to another, and stop frequently under the sha¬ 
dow of a hush till his glowing feet should cool, it 
afforded them no little satisfaction and enjoyment. 

Many of them thought us a strange race of beings; 
while some would insinuate that we had some other 
object in view, of a very different character, than to 
make them believe in fables : and what was, if pos¬ 
sible, still more consolatory, they would tell us that 
we had come to their country to get a living. Some 
brighter minds, however, inferred from what they saw, 
that all our resources being foreign, and some of them 
employed to administer to the wants of the natives, 
besides the taxes levied by thieves, that these surmises 
were not exactly the whole of the truth, but that we 
must be runaways from our native land, preferring a 
suffering life in their country to returning to our own, 
to be punished for some crime of which we had been 
guilty. “ What is the reason you do not return to 
your own land?” asked a chief, when I begged him to 
endeavour to recover my knife, which had been stolen 
from my jacket that I had laid down while preaching. 
“ If your land were a good one, or if you were not 
afraid of returning, you would not he so content to 
live as you do, while people devour you,” said an¬ 


Our itinerating journeys to the Batlaros, who lived 
at Patane, about twenty miles to the westward, were 
of a more agreeable nature, if a comparison may be 
drawn. The thing was more novel to that people, and 
a congregation might be convened, though their wild¬ 
ness and ignorance may in some measure be conceived 
of by the following extract from one of my journals : 
—‘‘ Arrived at Tlogo’s village. Tlogo the chief, and a 
number of people, having congregated at the wagon, I 
embraced the opportunity of speaking to them a little 
about the things of God. I had scarcely begun, when 
the greater part of them took to their keels. At the 
conclusion, something was said in reference to what 
had taken place, when one who could speak a few 
words of the Dutch language broke out in the fol¬ 
lowing harangue : ‘ The Bechuanas are very hard- 
headed, and will not hear, though God has given 
them so many things. He has given them oxen, 
goats, and women,’—ranking the latter among the 
inferior animals.” 

The missionary requires incessant patience and 
perseverance, for often when he has, by many kind 
speeches and a present to the chief, collected an 
audience, he finds his first words are only a signal 
for instant dismissal. I have found some chiefs, who, 
entirely ignorant of the motives of the missionary, 
have professed great anxiety to have one, and would 
bring a young daughter into the presence of Mrs. 
Mofikt, assuring me that he would give her to be my 
wife, were I to take up my abode with him. This, 
no doubt, was very generous ; and he, poor man, in 
his ignorance, must have thought me not only saucy 
but silly, not to embrace so fascinating an ofier. 
These visits, although without any apparent success. 



were not lost either upon the natives or ourselves ; for, 
while , they gradually familiarized our character and 
objects to the people, they taught us lessons very im¬ 
portant in preparing us for trials greater than these. 

In imparting instruction, we were obliged to keep to 
first principles. Among such a people it was neces- 
sarv to assert who God was, as well as what he had 
done for a sinful world. It is recorded of the Mora¬ 
vian missionaries in Greenland, that they had been in 
the habit of directing the attention of their hearers to 
the existence and attributes of God, the fall of man, 
and the demands of the Divine law; hoping thus, by 
degrees, to prepare the minds of the heathen for the 
more mysterious and sublime truths of the Gospel. 
As, however, this plan had been tried for five years 
with no success, they now resolved, in the first in¬ 
stance, simply to preach Christ crucified to the be¬ 
nighted Greenlanders ; and not only were their own 
souls set at peculiar liberty in speaking, but the power 
of the Holy Ghost evidently accompanied the word 
spoken to the hearts and consciences of the hearers ; 
so that they trembled at their danger as sinners, and 
rejoiced with joy unspeakable in the appointment and 
exhibition of Christ as a Saviour from the wrath to 
come. This fact has been reiterated; and, by the 
deductions drawn from it, many, we believe, have 
been led to suppose that the subsequent labours of 
other missionaries, for sixteen years, in the South Sea 
Islands, without fruit, must have arisen from their not 
“ thus directing their principal attention to the only 
subject which was likely to be permanently profitable 
to the heathen.” This, however, we conceive to be 
a very erroneous conclusion ; for if we examine the 


Paul’s preaching at Athens. 

journals and experience of those who laboured a much 
longer period than the Greenland missionaries with 
no better success, we shall find that the burden of 
their report was, ‘‘ God so loved the world,” etc. If 
these missionaries, whom we can never cease to ad¬ 
mire, and whose extraordinary love to the Saviour 
influenced them to brave the tempests of an arctic 
sky, had confined their preaching exclusively to the 
attributes of God, which, as ministers of the New 
Testament, we can scarcely think they did, we should 
not wonder at their little success. It ought also to be 
recollected, that by their first efforts to enlighten the 
minds of the natives respecting the character of the 
Divine Being, they were preparing the way for dilating 
more fully on the theme of man’s redemption. 

The course pursued by the apostles among the 
Jews, who were acquainted with the nature and opera¬ 
tions of the true God, was to proclaim the reign of 
the Messiah, and even to baptize in the name of the 
Lord Jesus only ; but Paul, whose all-absorbing theme 
was Christ, and Him crucified, determined, while stand¬ 
ing on Mars’ Hill, among the literati of Athens, to dis¬ 
course first on the character and attributes of the true 
God, of whom they were ignorant. His sermon, or 
rather the exordium, is entirely restricted to the esta¬ 
blishment of this most important point. This was 
his mode of convincing both Stoics and Epicureans 
of the fallacy of their tenets ; and by thus introducing 
the character and government of what was to them an 
“ Unknown God,” he prepared them for the attraction 
of the Cross, which was to the Jews a stumbling- 
block, and to the Greeks foolishness. This inimitable 
discourse was addressed to idolaters, and admirably 



calculated to overthrow the notions of his opponents ; 
for while the Epicureans acknowledged no gods, ex¬ 
cept in name, they absolutely denied that they exer¬ 
cised any government over the world or its inhabit¬ 
ants; and while the Stoics did not deny the existence 
of the gods, they held that all human affairs were go¬ 
verned by fate. The Acts of the Apostles has very 
properly been designated a ‘‘ Missionary Book and 
he who takes the first propagators of Christianity as 
his models, cannot err. The missionary having this 
guide, and relying on the direction and promises of 
the Great Head of the Church, will find it necessary 
to adapt his discourses to the circumstances of the 
people among whom he labours. In Greenland he 
will, in the first instance, endeavour to undermine the 
influence of the Angekoks; in Western Africa, that 
of the Greegrees ; and, in Southern Africa, the as¬ 
sumed power of Rain-makers; by declaring that ‘'God 
made the world and all things therein, and giveth to 
all life, breath, and all things.” This should be done 
more especially among a people who have no idolatry 
whatever ; while the exhibition of Him who is the 
desire of nations ought on no occasion to he with¬ 

The question may be raised. What would Paul have 
done among the Plindoos, the Esquimaux, or the 
atheistical nations of the interior of Africa? We pre¬ 
sume that he who found it necessary, yea, of incalcu¬ 
lable importance to become all things to all men, 
would leave the mode of argument requisite to con¬ 
vince the Jew, and preach to them as he did to the 
people of Lystra, that they should turn from their 
vanities unto the living God, who made heaven and 



earth and seas, and all things that are therein ; and 
turn the attention from soothsayers, sorcerers, charms 
and amulets, to that divine and gracious Being who 
gives rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, fdl- 
ing our hearts with food and gladness. All this the 
missionary finds it necessary to do^, to clear away a 
mass of rubbish which paralyzes the mental powers 
of the natives; while he knows full well, that if he 
wishes to save souls, he must preach Christ, the 
power of God and the wisdom of God, without which 
all his efforts to save souls must be like the sounding 
brass and tinkling cymbal. 

We found it necessary to make every subject as 
striking and interesting as possible to gain attention, 
for our greatest complaint was indifference, a cold 
assent being the most we could obtain from even the 
most intelligent of them. We held one service in 
Dutch on the Sabbath evenings, for the edification of 
our own souls as well as those of two or three Hot¬ 
tentots and their families. This was the only service 
in which we felt any thing like real enjoyment, the 
others affording only that which arose from the sense 
of discharging a daty. 

About this time a circumstance occurred which 
operated as a balm to some of our sorrows. AVe had 
been exceedingly tried by the conduct of Fransinna, 
a Hottentot woman, from Bethelsdorp. She had 
taken offence at our having sent away a young Hot¬ 
tentot in our service, on account of immoral conduct, 
which disgraced the mission in the eyes of the Be- 
chuanas. She took this opportunity of instigating 
the king and his people against us, by insinuating 
that we had ascribed it to Mothibi, who, of course. 



^vas hurt at being charged with that which was our 
own act. While her unchristian and violent spirit 
was threatening the overthrow of the mission, she 
was suddenly seized with a remarkable distemper, 
which prostrated her in a short time on a bed of 
sickness. She was visited and faithfully dealt with. 
Her conduct in endeavouring to frustrate our efforts 
among the Bechuanas, was set before her in its true 
colours. She was soon thoroughly convinced of the 
guilt of such hostility, and of the reasonableness of 
the step on our part which had excited her displea¬ 
sure. She frankly confessed her crimes, was cut to 
the heart for the injury she had done to the cause, 
and earnestly implored forgiveness, when she was 
directed afresh to the fountain opened for sin. She 
remained several months in severe affliction, and 
about a month before her death, one of her legs from 
the knee was consigned to the dust, the rest of her 
limbs meanwhile gradually decaying ; but while worms 
were literally destroying her body, she knew in whom 
she had believed. From the commencement of her 
affliction, the Lord had made her to feel that he had a 
controversy with her, and thrice happy was it for her 
that she heard the rod and Him who had appointed 
it. She acknowledged that for some time previous 
she had wandered from God, and had done things to 
the grief of our souls and the injury of the cause ; 
she also said that she had used her endeavours to 
])ersuade her husband and the other Hottentots to 
abandon the station and return home, and that in the 
midst of her fiery opposition to us the Lord laid his 
hand upon her. She had thus been brought to a 
sense of her danger, and to have recourse to the 



precious blood of Christ which cleanseth from all sin. 
She made a full, free, and public confession of all her 
iniquity; and a short time before her death, remem¬ 
bering again the injury she had attempted to do, by 
endeavouring to persuade the men to abandon the 
mission, she called them together to her bedside, and, 
as her dying request, entreated them not to leave the 
missionaries, however accumulated their privations 
might be, adding, that it was at their peril if they de¬ 
serted them. During the whole of her illness not a 
murmur escaped her lips. Resting on the righteous¬ 
ness of Christ, she gloried in his cross. A lively 
gratitude to God, who had redeemed her, beamed 
forth in her whole demeanour, and when we were 
called to witness her last struggle with the king of 
terrors, we beheld with feelings no tongue can utter, 
the calmness and serenity of her mind in the lively 
anticipation of immortal glory, and saw her breathe 
her last. Thus, as with captive Israel of old, “ our 
God did lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving 
in our bondage,” 


Influence of rain-makers—The dead exposed—Ceremony of burial 
—Severe drought—Embassy for a rain-maker—His propitious 
rece 2 )tioii—His popularity—His demeanour—His craftiness—• 
Rain churned out of a milk sack—Tree struck by lightning—A 
baboon in requisition—The lion’s heart—A grand discovery— 
Exhumation of a body—The rain-maker begins to despair—He 
seeks counsel—A grave charge—The rain-maker condemned— 
He leaves the country. 

In every heathen country the missionary finds, to 
his sorrow, some predominating barriers to his use¬ 
fulness, which require to he overcome before he 
can expect to reach the judgments of the populace. 
Sorcerers, or rain-makers, (for both offices are gene¬ 
rally assumed by one individual,) are the principal 
with which he has to contend in the interior of 
Southern Africa. They are, as Mr. Kay rightly 
designates them, our inveterate enemies, and uni¬ 
formly oppose the introduction of Christianity amongst 
their countrymen to the utmost of their power. Like 
the angekoks of the Greenlanders, the pawaws of the 
Indians, and the greegrees of Western Africa, they 
constitute the very pillars of Satan’s kingdom in all 
j)laces where such impostors are found. By them is 
his tlirone supported and the people kept in bondage; 
when these, therefore, are confounded, and constrained 




to flee, we cannot but rejoice, for then indeed have 
we demonstrative evidence that ‘ the kingdom of God 
is not in word but in power.’” The rain-maker is, 
in the estimation of the people, no mean personage, 
possessing an influence over the minds of the people, 
superior even to that of their king, who is likewise 
compelled to yield to the dictates of this arch-official. 
The anomalies in the human character can alone 
account for reasonable, and often intelligent beings, 
yielding a passive obedience to the absurd demands 
of this capricious individual. Nothing can exceed 
his freaks of fancy, and the adroitness with which he 
can awe the public mind, and lead thousands captive 
at his will. Each tribe has one, and sometimes more, 
who are also doctors and sextons, or the superin¬ 
tendents of the burying of the dead, it being generally 
believed that that ceremony has some influence over 
the watery treasures which float in the skies. He 
will sometimes give orders, that none of the dead 
must be buried, but dragged to a distance from the 
town to be devoured by the hyenas and jackals. One 
old woman died in her house not far from our 
premises ; we dared not commit the body to the dust, 
and having no friend to perform the needful duty, 
her son was called from a distance. From their na¬ 
tional horror of a corpse, he tied a thong to her leg, 
avoiding the touch of that form which gave him birth, 
dragged the corpse to some hushes, and left the thong, 
because it had been in contact with the body of his 
mother. Though the bodies of the poor are habitu¬ 
ally exposed, the orders of the rain-maker apply to 
all, because if any were buried it would not rain. 
This shows that, in their ceremonies connected with 



burying the dead, there is no reference to pleasing 
the spirits of the departed; on the contrary, a rain¬ 
maker himself contended that there were no such 
existences. What is the ditference,’’ he asked me, 
pointing to his dog, “between me and that animal? 
You say I am immortal, and why not my dog or my 
ox ? They die, and do you see their souls ? What 
is the difference between man and the beasts ? None, 
except that man is the greater rogue of the two.” 
Such was that wise man’s view of man’s dignity and 
man’s immortality ! Yet, notwithstanding this low 
estimate, when a person was buried, a privilege 
granted to the more noble, it was attended to with 
scrupulous minuteness. 

The followina: is a brief sketch of the ceremonv 
of interment, and the custom which prevails among 
these tribes in reference to the dying. When they 
see any indications of approaching dissolution in 
fainting fits or convulsive throes, they throw a net 
over the body, and hold it in a sitting posture, with 
the knees brought in contact with the chin, till life is 
gone. The grave, which is frequently made in the 
fence surrounding the cattle fold, or in the fold itself, 
if for a man, is about three feet in diameter, and six 
feet deep. The interior is rubbed over with a large 
hull). The body is not conveyed through the door of 
the fore-vard or court connected with each house, hut 


an o])ening is made in the fence for that purpose. It 
is carried to the grave, having the head covered with 
a skin, and is placed in a sitting posture. Much 
time is spent in order to fix the corpse exactly facing 
the north ; and tliough they have no compass, they 
manage, after some consultation, to place it very 



nearly in the required position. Portions of an ant-hill 
are placed about the feet, when the net which held 
the body is gradually withdrawn; as the grave is filled 
up, the earth is handed in with bowls, while two men 
stand in the hole to tread it down round the body, 
great care being taken to pick out every thing like a 
root or pebble. When the earth reaches the height 
of the mouth, a small twig or branch of an acacia is 
thrown in, and on the top of the head a few roots 
of grass are placed; and when the grave is nearly 
filled, another root of grass is fixed immediately 
above the head, part of which stands above ground. 
When finished, the men and women stoop, and with 
their hands scrape the loose soil around on to the 
little mound. A large bowl of water, with an infusion 
of bulbs, is then brought, when the men and women 
wash their hands and the upper part of their feet, 
shouting “ pula, pula,” rain, rain. An old woman, 
probably a relation, will then bring his weapons, 
bows, arrows, war-axe, and spears, also grain and 
garden seeds of various kinds, and even the bone of 
an old pack-ox, with other things, and address the 
grave, saying, ‘‘There are all your articles.” These 
are then taken away, and bowls of water are poured 
on the grave, when all retire, the women wailing, 
“ Yo, yo, yo,” with some doleful dirge, sorrowing 
without hope. These ceremonies vary in different 
localities, and according to the rank of the individual 
who is committed to the dust. It is remarkable that 
they should address the dead; and I have eagerly 
embraced this season to convince them that if ilxeij 
did not believe in the immortality of the soul, it was 
evident from this, to them now unmeaning custom. 



that their ancestors once did. Some would admit 
this might possibly have been the case, but doubted 
wbether they could have been so foolish. But with 
few exceptions amongst such a people, argument 
soon closes, or is turned into ridicule, and the great 
difficulty presents itself of producing conviction 
where there is no reflection. When we would ap¬ 
peal to the supposed influence of the dead body in 
neutralizing the rain-maker’s medicines for producing 
rain, and inquire how such an influence operated, 
the reply would be, “ The rain-maker says so.” 

Years of drought had been severely felt, and the 
natives, tenacious of their faith in the potency of 
a man, held a council, and passed resolutions to 
send for a rain-maker of renown from the Bahurutsi 
tribe, 200 miles north-east of the Kuruman station. 
Rain-makers have always most honour among a 
strange people, and therefore they are generally 
foreigners. The one in question had been very suc¬ 
cessful among the Bahurutsian mountains, which, 
lying on the east of the Backbone of Africa, and at 
the sources of those rivers which empty themselves 
into the Indian Ocean, were visited not only with 
great thunder storms, but land rains, with the under 
strata of clouds, which the natives call female ones, 
resting on the summits. It was natural to suppose 
that the offer must be a tempting one which would 
draw him from a post so lucrative, and where he had 
so much signalized his boasted powers. The Bechu- 
anas possess very inventive minds ; and when they 
have a point to gain, as truth and honour are never 
regarded, they find no difficulty in embellishing their 
story. The ambassadors received their commission, 



with the strictest injunction not to return without the 
man. No doubt many were their cogitations on the 
journey how they might best succeed. Promises were 
cheap, and with a redundance of the fairest kind, they 
succeeded beyond expectation. This, however, was 
not surprising, when they assured him that if he 
would only come to the land of the Batlapis, and 
open the teats of the heavens, which had become as 
hard as a stone, cause the rains to fall, and quench 
the flaming ground, he should be made the greatest 
man that ever lived; his riches should be beyond all 
calculation; his flocks covering the hills and plains ; 
he should wash his hands in milk, while all would 
exalt him in the song, and mothers and children 
would call him blessed. When a period had elapsed 
sufficient to allow the messengers time to return, it 
was rumoured through the town, that they had been 
murdered, a common event in those days. The 
gloom which this cast over the native mind, formed a 
striking contrast to the dazzling rays pouring forth 
from an almost vertical sun blazing in a cloudless sky. 
The heavens had been as brass, scarcely a cloud had 
been seen for months, even on the distant horizon. 
Suddenly a shout was raised, and the whole town was 
in motion. The rain-maker was approaching. Every 
voice was raised to the highest pitch with acclamations 
of enthusiastic joy. He had sent a harbinger to an¬ 
nounce his approach, with peremptory orders for all 
the inhabitants of the town to wash their feet. Every 
one seemed to fly in swiftest obedience to the adjoining 
river. Noble and ignoble, even the girl who attended 
to our kitchen fire, ran. Old and young ran. All the 
world could not have stopped them. By this time 



the clouds began to gather, and a crowd went out to 
welcome the mighty man who, as they imagined, was 
now collecting in the heavens his stores of rain. Just 
as he was descending the height into the town, the 
immense concourse danced and shouted, so that the 
very earth rang, and at the same time the lightnings 
darted, and the thunders roared in awful grandeur. A 
few heavy drops fell, which produced the most thrill¬ 
ing ecstasy on the deluded multitude, whose shout¬ 
ings bathed all description. Faith hung upon the lips 
of the impostor, while he proclaimed aloud that this 
year the women must cultivate gardens on the hills, 
and not in the valleys, for these would be deluged. 
After the din had somewhat subsided, a few indivi¬ 
duals came to our dwellings to treat us and our doc¬ 
trines with derision. ‘'Where is your God?’’ one 
asked with a sneer. We were silent, because the 
wicked were before us. He continued, “"Have you 
not seen our Morimo ? Have you not beheld him 
cast from his arm his fiery spears, and rend the 
heavens? Have you not heard with your ears his 
voice in the clouds?” adding, with an interjection of 
supreme disgust, “ You talk of Jehovah, and Jesus, 

do ? ” Never in my life do I remember 
a text being brought home with such power as the 
words of the Psalmist ; “Be still, and know that I 
am God: I will be exalted among the heathen.” 
Then truly the enemy came in as a flood, and it 
became us to take refuge in the Most High, to be 
enabled to lift up a standard against him. In con¬ 
ducting our evening service, my mind was powerfully 
directed to Psalm xcvii. 2, “Clouds and darkness are 
round about him,” etc. 

what can they 


rain-maker’s popularity. 

It was natural for us to calculate on our already 
dark and devious course becoming more gloomy still, 
from the stormy ebullitions of minds inflated by the 
fictitious scenes which the magic powers of the rain¬ 
maker could paint with a masterly hand. He had 
before his singularly delightful, though clamorous 
reception among his new friends, been particularly 
informed of the character and objects of the Mission¬ 
aries, which his discerning mind would soon discover 
stood in fearful opposition to his own. The rain¬ 
makers, as I have since had frequent opportunities 
of observing, were men of no common calibre, and 
it was the conviction of their natural superiority of 
genius, which emboldened them to lay the public 
mind prostrate before the reveries of their fancies. 
Being foreigners, they generally amplified prodigiously 
on their former feats. The present one, as has been 
noticed, was above the common order. He kept 
the chiefs and nobles gazing on him with silent 
amazement, while the demon of mendacity enriched 
his themes with lively imagery, making them fancy 
they saw their corn-fields floating in the breeze, and 
their flocks and herds return lowing homewards by 
noonday from the abundance of pasture. He had 
in his wrath desolated the cities of the enemies of 
his people, by stretching forth his hand, and com¬ 
manding the clouds to burst upon them. He had 
arrested the progress of a powerlul army, by causing 
a flood to descend, which formed a mighty river, 
and arrested their course. These, and many other 
pretended suj^ernatural displays of his power, were 
received as sober truths. The report of his fame 
spread like wild-fire, and the chiefs of the neighbour- 



ing tribes came to pay him homage. We scarcely 
knew whether to expect from him open hostility, 
secret machinations, or professed friendship. He, like 
all of his profession, was a thinking and calculating 
soul, in the habit of studying human nature, affable, 
engaging, with an acute eye, and exhibiting a dignity 
of mien, with an ample share of self-esteem, which, 
notwithstanding all his obsequiousness, he could not 
hide. He waited upon us, and it was well; for though 
we wished at all times to become all thin 2 :s to all 
men, he would have grown old before we could have 
constrained ourselves to pay court to one, who, under 
the influence of the great enemy of souls, had reached 
the very pinnacle of fame. He found we were men 
of peace, and would not quarrel. For the sake of 
obtaining a small piece of tobacco, he would occasion¬ 
ally pay us a visit, and even enter the place of 
worship. He was also studious not to give offence, 
while in the course of conversation he would give a 
feeble assent to our views as to the sources of that 
element, over which he pretended to have a sovereign 
control. He said he was poor, and this fact to 
thinking minds, would have proved that his successful 
achievements must have been either gratuitous or ill 
rewarded. When I put a question on the subject 
to one of his admirers, in order to excite suspicion, 
the reply was, The Fahurutsis,” the people from 
whom he came, “are stingy; they never reward 
peo})le for their services.” 

It might be briefly noticed that in order to carry 
on the I’raud, he would, when clouds appeared, order 
the women neither to plant nor sow, lest they should 
he scared away. He would also require them to go 


rain-maker’s craftiness. 

to the fields, and gather certain roots and herbs, with 
which he might light what appeared to the natives 
mysterious fires. Elate with hope, they would go in 
crowds to the hills and dales, herborize, and return 
to the town with songs, and lay their gatherings at his 
feet. With these he would sometimes proceed to cer¬ 
tain hills, and raise smoke ; gladly would he have raised 
the wind also, if he could have done so, well knowing 
that the latter is frequently the precursor of rain. 
He would select the time of new and full moon for 
his purpose, aware that at those seasons there was 
frequently a change in the atmosphere. It was often 
a matter of speculation with me whether such men 
had not the fullest conviction in their own minds 
that they were gulling the public; and opportunities 
have been afforded which convinced me that my sus¬ 
picions were well grounded. I met one among the 
Barolongs, who, from some service I had done him, 
thought me very kind, and with whom, before he knew 
my character, I became very intimate. He had derived 
benefit from some of my medicines, and consequently 
viewed me as a doctor and one of his own fraternity. 
In reply to some of my remarks, he said, “It is 
only wise men who can be rain-makers, for it requires 
very great wisdom to deceive so many; ” adding, “ you 
and I know that.” At the same time he gave me 
a broad hint that I must not remain there, lest I 
should interfere with his field of labour. 

The rain-maker found the clouds in our country 
rather harder to manage than those he had left. He 
complained that secret rogues were disobeying his 
proclamations. When urged to make repeated trials, 
he would reply, “You only give me sheep and goats 



to kill, therefore I can only make goat-rain; give me 
fat slaughter oxen, and I shall let you see ox-rain.” 
One day, as he was taking a sound sleep, a shower 
fell, on which one of the principal men entered his 
house to congratulate him, but to his utter amaze¬ 
ment found him totally insensible to what was trans¬ 
piring. “ Hela ka rare, (Halloo, by my father,) I 
thought you were making rain,” said the intruder, 
when, arising from his slumbers, and seeing his wife 
sitting on the door shaking a milk-sack in order to 
obtain a little butter to anoint her hair, he replied, 
pointing to the operation of churning, “ Do you 
not see my wife churning rain as fast as she can?” 
This reply gave entire satisfaction, and it presently 
spread through the length and breadth of the town, 
that the rain-maker had churned the shower out of 
a milk-sack. The moisture caused by this shower 
was dried up by a scorching sun, and many long 
weeks followed without a single cloud, and when 
these did appear they might sometimes be seen, to 
the great mortidcation of the conjuror, to discharge 
their watery treasures at an immense distance. This 
disappointment was increased when a heavy cloud 
would pass over with tremendous thunder, but not 
one drop of rain. There had been several successive 
years of drought, during which water had not been 
seen to dow upon the ground ; and in that climate, 
if rain does not fall continuously and in considerable 
quantities, it is all exhaled in a couple of hours. In 
digging graves we have found the earth as dry as 
dust at four or tive feet depth, when the surface was 
saturated with rain. 

The women had cultivated extensive delds, but the 



seed was lying in tlie soil as it had been thrown from 
the hand ; the cattle were dying from want of pas¬ 
ture, and hundreds of living skeletons were seen 
going to the fields in quest of unwholesome roots 
and reptiles, while many were dying with hunger. 
Our sheep, as before stated, were soon likely to be 
all devoured, and finding their number daily diminish, 
we slaughtered the remainder, and put the meat in 
salt, which of course was far from being agreeable in 
such a climate, and where vegetables were so scarce. 

All these circumstances irritated the rain-maker 
very much ; but he was often puzzled to find some¬ 
thing on which to lay the blame, for he had exhausted 
his skill. One night, a small cloud passed over, and 
the only flash of lightning, from which a heavy peal 
of thunder burst, struck a tree in the town. Next 
day the rain-maker and a number of people assembled 
to perform the usual ceremony on such an event. It 
was ascended, and ropes of grass and grass roots were 
bound round different parts of the trunk, which in 
the Acacia Giraffe is seldom much injured. A limb 
may be torn off, but of numerous trees of that spe¬ 
cies which I have seen struck by lightning, the trunk 
appears to resist its power, as the fluid produces only 
a stripe or groove along the bark to the ground. 
When these bandages were made he deposited some 
of his nostrums, and got quantities of water handed 
up, which he poured with great solemnity on the 
wounded tree, while the assembled multitude shouted 

Piila, pida.” This done, the tree was hewn down, 
dragged out of the town, and burned to ashes. Soon 
after this unmeaning ceremony, he got large howls 
of water, with which was mingled an infusion of bulbs, 



All the men of the town then came together, and 
passed in succession before him, when he sprinkled 
each with a zebra’s tail, which he dipped in the 

As all this, and much more, did not succeed, he 
had recourse to another stratagem. He knew well 
that baboons were not very easily caught among the 
rocky glens and shelving precipices, therefore, in 
order to gain time, he informed the men that, to make 
rain, he must have a baboon: that the animal must 
he without a blemish, not a hair was to be wanting 
on its body. One would have thought any simpleton 
might have seen through his tricks, as their being 
able to present him with a baboon in that state was 
impossible, even though they caught him asleep. 
Forth sallied a hand of chosen runners, who ascended 
the neighbouring mountain. The baboons from their 

O O 

lofty domiciles had been in the habit of looking down 
on the plain beneath at the natives encircling, and 
pursuing the quaggas and antelopes, little dreaming 
that one day they would themselves be objects of 
pursuit. They hobbled off in consternation, grunting 
and screaming, and leaping from rock to rock, occa¬ 
sionally looking down on their pursuers, grinning and 
gnashing their teeth. 

After a long pursuit, with wounded limbs, scratched 
bodies, and broken toes, a young one was secured, and 
brought to the town, the captors exulting as if they 
had obtained a great spoil. The wily rogue, on seeing 
the animal, put on a countenance exhibiting the most 
intense sorrow, exclaiming, “ My heart is rent in 
pieces; I am dumb with grief;” and pointing to the 
car of the baboon, which was scratched, and the tail. 


THE lion’s heart. 

which had lost some hairs, added, Did I not tell you 
I could not make rain if there was one hair wanting ?” 
After some days another was obtained; but there was 
still some imperfection, real or alleged. He had often 
said, that, if they would procure him the heart of a 
lion, he would show them he could make rain so 
abundant, that a man might think himself well off to 
be under shelter, as when it fell it might sweep whole 
towns away. He had discovered that the clouds re¬ 
quired strong medicine, and that a lion’s heart would 
do the business. To obtain this, the rain-maker well 
knew, was no joke. One day it was announced that 
a lion had attacked one of the cattle outposts^ not far 
from the town, and a party set off for the twofold 
purpose of getting a key to the clouds and disposing 
of a dangerous enemy. The orders were imperative, 
whatever the consequences might be, which, in this 
instance, might have been very serious, had not one 
of our men shot the terrific animal dead with a gun. 
This was no sooner done than it was cut up for roast¬ 
ing and boiling ; no matter if it had previously eaten 
some of their relations, they ate it in its turn. No¬ 
thing could exceed their enthusiasm vdien they re¬ 
turned to the town, bearing the lion’s heart, and 
singing the conqueror’s song in full chorus ; the rain¬ 
maker prepared his medicines, kindled his fires, and 
might be seen upon the top of the hill, stretching 
forth his puny hands, and beckoning the clouds to 
draw near, or even shaking his spear, and threatening 
that if they disobeyed they should feel his ire. The 
deluded populace believed all this, and wondered the 
rains would not fall. Asking an experienced and 
judicious man, the king’s uncle, how it was that so 



great an operator on the clouds could not succeed, 
“ Ah,” he replied, with apparent feeling, there is a 
cause for the hardheartedness of the clouds, if the 
rain-maker could only find it out.” A scrutinizing 
watch was kept up on every thing done hy the mis¬ 
sionaries. Some weeks after my return from a visit 
to Griqua Town, a grand discovery was made, that 
the rain had been prevented by my bringing a hag of 
salt from that place in my wagon. The charge was 
made by the king and his attendants, with great 
gravity and form. As giving the least offence by 
laughing at their puerile actions, ought always to he 
avoided when dealing with a people who are sincere, 
though deluded, the case was on my part investigated 
with more than usual solemnity. Mothibi and his 
aid-de-camp accompanied me to the store-house^ 
where the identical bag stood. It was open, with the 
white contents full in view. ‘‘There it is,” he ex¬ 
claimed, with an air of satisfaction. But finding, on 
examination, that the reported salt was only white 
clay or chalk, they could not help laughing at their 
own credulity. 

We fearlessly pointed out to them their delusion, 
and our only wonder was that we had not been ac¬ 
cused before ; we had occasionally heard whisperings 
that we were not guiltless of the great drought. We 
tried, both in })ublic and in private conversation, to 
impress them with the sublime truths of creation, 
jirovidence, and redemption ; hut the universal reply 
was, “ Maka hela,” only lies. In a conversation with 
Mothibi, the rain-maker, and a few others, I re¬ 
marked, in reference to some insinuations, that I 
should with great pleasure meet him before an assem- 



bly of the people, and discuss the subject. To this 
he at first consented, but soon afterwards retracted, 
for this reason, that the subject which we should 
have to discuss was far too high for the people, being 
what only rain-makers and philosophers could talk 
about. We consoled ourselves with the hope that 
there was no probability of our being implicated, as 
our few cows, as well as theirs, were dying, and we 
were without a drop of milk. Nothing could exceed 
the artfulness with which he carried on the game; he 
said the Bushmen had cut down certain bushes behind 
the hills, and he advised an extirpating commando to 
go against them. This was overruled. He then dis¬ 
covered that a corpse, which had been put into the 
ground some weeks before, had not received enough 
water at its burial. He knew the horror the Bechu- 
anas had at the idea of touching a putrid body, and he 
thought he would fix them, and made it known that 
the body must be taken up, washed, and re-interred. 
He supposed they would not do this, but he was mis¬ 
taken ; the ceremony, horrible as it must have been, 
was performed, but the sky remained cloudless still. 

The people at last became impatient, and poured 
forth their curses against brother Hamilton and 
myself, as the cause of all their sorrows. Our bell, 
which was rung for public worship, they said, fright¬ 
ened the clouds ; our prayers came in also for a share 
of the blame. '‘Don’t you,” said the chief rather 
fiercely to me, “ bow down in your houses, and pray 
and talk to something bad in the ground?” A coun¬ 
cil was held, and restrictions were to be laid on all 
our actions. We refused compliance, urging that the 
spot on which the mission premises stood had been 


given to the missionaries. The rain-maker appeared 
to avoid accusing ns openly ; he felt some sense of 
obligation, his wife having experienced that my medi¬ 
cines and mode of bleeding did her more good than 
all his nostrums. He would occasionally visit our 
humble dwellings, and when I happened to he in the 
smith’s shop, he would look on most intently when 
he saw a piece of iron welded, or an instrument made, 
and tell me privately he wished I were living among 
his people, assuring me that there was plenty of 
timber and iron there. 

One dav he came and sat down with a face some- 
what elongated, and evincing inward dissatisfaction. 
On making inquiry, I found, as I had heard whis¬ 
pered the day before, that all was not right; the 
public voice was sounding ominous in his ears. He 
inquired how the women were in our country; and 
supposing he wished to know what they were like, I 
pointed him to my wife, adding that there were 
some taller, and some shorter than she was. ‘‘That 
is not what I mean,” he replied; “I want to know 
what part they take in public affairs, and how they 
act when they do so.” I replied, “ that when the 
women of my country had occasion to take an active 
part in any public affairs, they carried all before 
them;” adding, in a jocose strain, “ wait till we mis¬ 
sionaries get the women on our side, as they now are 
on yours, and there will be no more rain-makers in 
the countrv.” At this remark he looked at me as if 
I had just risen out of the earth. “ May that time 
never arrive!” he cried, with a countenance expres¬ 
sive of unusual anxiety. I replied, “ that time would 
assuredlv come, for Jehovah, the mighty God, had 



spoken it.” He was evidently chagrined, for he had 
come for advice. What am I to do ?” he inquired ; 
“ I wish all the women were men ; I can get on with 
the men, hut I cannot manage the women.” I viewed 
this as a delicate moment, and, feeling the need of 
caution, replied “ that the women had just cause to 
complain ; he had promised them rain, hut the land was 
dust, their gardens burned up, and, were I a woman, I 
would complain as loudly as any of them.” To his in¬ 
quiry, “ What am I to do to pacify them ?” I recom¬ 
mended him to he an honest man, and confess that he 
had been misleading himself as well as the public. 

They will kill me,” he said. I repeated my advice, 
“ Be honest,” adding, that if he were in any danger, 
we would do what we could to save him. He arose, 
and retired with a sorrowful countenance, leaving Mr. 
Hamilton and myself to draw our own conclusions. 
Of one thing we were persuaded, that a storm was 
gathering, not such a one, however, as would cover 
the hills and valleys with verdure, and the fields with 
corn, but one which might sweep away the desire of 
our hearts, in breaking up the mission. At such sea¬ 
sons we were enabled by faith to realize the consoling 
assurance, “ The Lord of hosts is with us ; the God 
of Jacob is our refuge.” 

The rain-maker kept himself very secluded for a 
fortnight, and, after cogitating how he could make 
his own cause good, he appeared in the public fold, 
and proclaimed that he had discovered the cause of the 
drought. All were now eagerly listening; he dilated 
some time, till he had raised their expectation to the 
highest pitch, when he revealed the mystery. “ Do 
you not see, when clouds come over us, that Kamil- 



ton and Moffat look at them?'’ This question receiv¬ 
ing a hearty and unanimous affirmation ; he added, 
tliat our white faces frightened away the clouds, and 
they need not expect rain so long as we were in 
the countrv. This was a home stroke, and it was 
an easy matter for us to calculate what the influence 
of such a charge would he on the public mind. We 
were verv soon informed of the evil of our conduct, 
to which we pleaded guilty, promising, that as we 
were not aware that we were doing wrong, being as 
anxious as any of them for rain, we would willingly 
look to our chins, or the ground, all the day long, if 
it would serve their purpose. It was rather remark¬ 
able, that much as they admired my long black beard, 
thev thouaiit that in this case it was most to blame. 

v' O 

However, this season of trial passed over, to our 
great comfort, though it was followed for some time 
with many indications of suspicion and distrust. 

Shortly after, we accidentally heard that some one 
was to be speared. Violent as the natives some 
times were against us, we did not suspect injury was 
intended to ourselves. We imagined it was the 
poor rain-maker ; and though we felt anxious by any 
means to save his life, the great difficulty was to find 
out whether he was to be the victim; for though 
we had several of their people about us, and their 
council chamber was in the open air, exposed to the 
vulgar, it was a difficult matter to discover secrets of 
that description. Anxious to save life, which the 
Bechuanas will sometimes allow to be redeemed, it 
occurred to me that a very simple stratagem might 
unveil the mystery : I knew an individual of influence 
who was likely to know the affair. She was olten 



ailing, and, like all the natives, fond of medicines, for 
among such a people a doctor is always welcome, 
especially if he asks no fee. My inquiries about the 
state of her health, and the expression of sympathy, 
were most acceptable ; and the moment I saw her well 
pleased, I asked, as if it were a well-known fact, 
“ Why are they thinking of killing the rain-maker? 
they surely do not intend to eat him. Why not let 
the poor man go to his own land?” She very 
abruptly asked, ‘WVho told you?” Rising, I said, 
“ That is all I want to know;” when she called out 
after me, Do not tell that I told you, or they will 
kill me.” I entered the public fold, where about 
thirty of the principal men sat in secret council; it 
was a council of death. Had I put the question 
whether they really intended to commit that deed, 
they would have gazed on me with utter amazement, 
that I should have harboured such a suspicion, and 
have sworn, by all their forefathers that ever lived, 
that they had no such intention. I asked no ques¬ 
tion, but charged them with the fact, pointing out the 
magnitude of the crime of adding sin to sin, thus 
provoking Jehovah, by placing a man on His throne, 
and then killing him because he was unable to do 
what they wished him to perform. I then pleaded 
hard that his life might be spared, and he allowed to 
return to his own country in peace. A well-known 
old man arose, in a state of great rage, quivering his 
spear, and, adverting to the excessive drought, the 
lean herds, the dying people, and the cattle which the 
rain-maker had eaten, vowed that he would plunge 
that spear into the rain-maker’s heart, and asked who 
was to hinder him. I said I should with my entrea- 



ties, and if these would not do, I should offer a ran¬ 
som to save his life. I was asked if I was not aware 
that he was our enemy, and tliat if he had had his 
will we should have been dead. They had often 
thought us very silly and weak-minded, to persist in 
telling them the same thing so often about “ one 
Jesus but now to see a man labour to save the life 
of his enemy, was what they could not comprehend. 
His life was spared, however; and Mothibi, after con¬ 
ducting him over the plain towards the Matluarin 
River, returned, and entered our house with a smile 
of the most entire satisfaction on his countenance, 
perfectly sensible of his meritorious conduct, and ex¬ 
pecting congratulations, which were liberally, and we 
thought deservedly, bestowed. 

Thus ended, among the Batlapis, the career of a 
notable rain-maker, whom I shall have occasion to 
notice in my visit to the Bauangketsi nation, where 
he was eventually murdered. It is a remarkable fact 
that a rain-maker seldom dies a natural death. I have 
known some and heard of many, who had, by one 
means or other, fallen a prey to the fury of their dis¬ 
appointed employers ; but notwithstanding this, there 
was no want of successors. There is not one tribe 
who have not imbrued their hands in the blood of 
these impostors, whom they first adore, then curse, 

and lastly 


Prospects become darker—A trying crisis—Purposes overruled— 
Seasons changed—Scarcity of rain accounted for—Indications of 
former luxuriance—Diminution of fountains-—The north winds— 
Instinct of animals—Atmospheric phenomena—Description of 
thunder storms—-Thunder without clouds — Bechuana notions of 
thunder—The chapel clock. 

Although we were thus delivered from the machina¬ 
tions of one who, as we afterwards learned, was an 
active, though covert enemy to our influence among 
the people, and though his removal afforded us the 
sincerest gratification, the public mind was opposed 
to our residence in the country. Every change ap¬ 
peared for the worse; and as we proceeded with our 
work, our prospects became darker than ever. The 
Bushmen had been very troublesome in taking cattle 
and killing the watchers. We could not approve of 
the Bechuana system of vengeance and extirpation, 
which, instead of diminishing the evil, appeared only 
to add fuel to the fire of their fierce passions. We 
were suspected of befriending that hapless race of 
beings, from charging our men, who sometimes went 
to assist in retaking cattle, on no account to shoot 
the Bushmen. It was in vain we appealed to the 
injunctions of Jesus, our Lord and master: every 
argument of that description was always met with 



vehemently savage vociferations of Maka hela,” lies 
only. They candidly acknowledged that we wronged 
no man, and that we had no wish to inflict an injury 
on a single individual; but they would with equal 
candour tell us, that we were the cause of all the 
drought; and we have been more than once asked if 
we were not afraid of lying down in our beds, lest we 
and our reed-built houses should be burned to ashes 
before morning. 

Every thing wrong done by a Griqua while hunting 
in the country, was thrown in our teeth ; and if any one 
of the natives felt himself aggrieved during a visit to 
that people, we were told that we ought to have pre¬ 
vented it. The improper conduct of some professors 
who came to hunt and barter, as iii the first instance 
when the mission was commenced, was held up to us 
as the fruits of the Gospel; and they would tell us to 
go to certain people, and make them good, before 
attempting the renovation of the Bechuana nation. 
We became inured to such threatening reproaches 
and scorn ; but many were the melancholy hours we 
spent in gloomy forebodings. Much gratitude is, 
however, due to Him who “ restraineth his rough 
wind in the day of his east wind,” that we were never 
allowed to suspect that they would do us any per¬ 
sonal violence. 

The following fact will illustrate, in some measure, 
the position in which Ave stood with the people, who, 
by this time, were chafed in spirit by the severe 
drought, and mortified to the highest degree to see 
all their boasted powers vanish like a vapour on the 
mountain’s brow. One day, about noon, a chief 
man, and a dozen of his attendants, came and seated 



themselves under the shadow of a large tree, near my 
house. A secret council had been held, as is usual, 
in the field, under pretence of a hunt, and the present 
party was a deputation to apprise us of the results. 
I happened at that moment to be engaged in repairing 
my wagon near at hand. Being informed that some¬ 
thing of importance was to be communicated, Mr. 
Hamilton was called. We stood patiently to hear the 
message, being always ready to face the worst. The 
principal speaker informed us, that it was the deter¬ 
mination of the chiefs of the people that we should 
leave the country; and referring to our disregard of 
threatenings, added what was tantamount to the assu¬ 
rance that measures of a violent kind would be re¬ 
sorted to, to carry their resolutions into effect, in case 
of our disobeying the order. While the chief was 
speaking, he stood in a rather imposing, I could not 
say threatening attitude, quivering his spear in his 
right hand. Mrs. M. was at the door of our cottage, 
with the babe in her arms, watching the crisis, for 
such it was. We replied, ‘‘We have indeed felt 
most reluctant to leave, and are now more than ever 
resolved to abide by our post. We pity you, for you 
know not what you do ; we have suffered, it is true ; 
and He whose servants we are has directed us in His 
word, ‘ when they persecute you in one city, flee ye 
to anotherhut although we have suffered, we do 
not consider all that has been done to us by the 
people amounts to persecution ; we are prepared to 
expect it from such as know no better. If you are 
resolved to rid yourselves of us, you must resort to 
stronger measures, for our hearts are with you. You 
may sh^d pur blood or burn us out. We know you will 



not touch our wives and children. Then shall they 
who sent us know, and God who now sees and hears 
what we do, shall know, that we have been persecuted 
indeed.” At these words the chief man looked at his 
companions, remarking, with a significant shake of 
the head, “ These men must have ten lives, wdien they 
are so fearless of death; there must be something in 
immortality.” The meeting broke up, and they left 
us, no doubt fully impressed with the idea that we 
were impracticable men. 

We could not help feeling deeply thankful for 
the turn this short but solemn interview had takem 
The charge brought against us by the rain-maker 
was, by every passing cloud and whistling blast from 
the torrid zone brought fresh to their minds ; and 
they thought that, having teachers of strange doc¬ 
trines among them, such as their forefathers never 
knew, the country would be burned up. They were 
wont to tell us of the floods of ancient times, the 
incessant showers which clothed the very rocks with 
verdure, and the giant trees and forests which once 
studded the brows of the Hamhana hills and neigh¬ 
bouring plains. They boasted of the Kuruman and 
other rivers, with their impassable torrents, in which 
the hippopotami played, while the lowing herds 
walked to their necks in grass, filling their maJaihas 
(milk sacks) with milk, making every heart to sing 
for joy. It was in vain that we endeavoured to 
convince them that the dry seasons had commenced 
at a period long anterior to the arrival of the 
missionaries. Independent of this fact being handed 
down by their forefathers, they had before their eyes 
the fragments of more fruitful years in the immense 



number of stumps and roots of enormous trunks of 
acacia giraffe, when now scarcely one is to be seen 
raising its stately head above the shrubs ; while the 
sloping sides of hills, and the ancient beds of rivers, 
plainly evinced that they were denuded of the herbage 
which once clothed their surface. Indeed, the whole 
country north of the Orange River lying east of the 
Kalagare desert, presented to the eye of an European 
something like an old neglected garden or field. As, 
however, the natives never philosophized on atmo¬ 
spheric changes, and the probable causes of the 
failure of the plenteous years^ they were not likely 
to be convinced such could depend on any thing 
done by man, even though they were credulous 
enough to believe that their rain-makers could charm 
or frighten the clouds into showers, or that our 
faces or prayers could prevent their descending. 

When reference has been made to certain trees, 
especially the Milkwood, {sideroxylum inerme,) and a 
few shrubs, which they prohibit being touched with 
a knife or an axe when the rain is expected, I have 
embraced the opportunity of trying to convince the 
more intelligent, that they themselves were the active 
agents of bringing about an entire change of atmo¬ 
sphere. The Bechuanas, especially the Batlapis and 
the neighbouring tribes, are a nation of levellers— 
not reducing hills to comparative plains, for the sake 
of building their towns, but cutting down every spe¬ 
cies of timber, without regard to scenery or economy. 
Houses are chiefly composed of small timber, and 
their fences of branches and shrubs. Thus when 
they fix on a site for a town, their first consideration 
is to be as near a thicket as possible. The whole is 



presently levelled, leaving only a few trees, one in 
each great man’s fold, to atford shelter from the heat, 
and under which the men. work and recline. 

The ground to be occupied for cultivation is the 
next object of attention ; the large trees, being too 
hard for their iron axes, they burn them down by 
keeping up a tire at the root. These supply them 
with branches for fences, while the sparrows, so de¬ 
structive to their grain, are thus deprived of an asylum. 
These fences, as well as those in the towns, require 
constant repairs, and indeed the former must be re¬ 
newed every year, and by this means the country for 
many miles around becomes entirely cleared of timber; 
while in the more sequestered spots, where they have 
their out-posts, the same work of destruction goes on. 
Thus, of whole forests, where the girafte and elephant 
were wont to seek their daily food, nothing remains. 

When the natives remove from that district, which 
may he after only a few years, the minor species of 
the acacia soon grows, but the acacia giraffe requires 
an age to become a tree, and many ages must pass 
before they attain the dimensions of their predecessors. 
The wood, when old, is dark red, rough grained, and 
exceedingly hard and heavy; after being dried for years, 
when thrown into the water it sinks like lead. In the 
course of my journeys I have met with trunks of 
enormous size, which, if the time were calculated 
necessary for their growth, as well as their decay, 
one might be led to conclude that they sprung up 
immediately after the flood, if not before it. The 
natives have also the yearly custom of burning the 
dry grass, which on some occasions destroys shrubs 
and trees even to the very summit of the mountains. 



To this system of extermination may be attributed 
the long succession of dry seasons. “ The felling of 
forests has been attended in many countries by a 
diminution of rain, as in Barbadoes and Jamaica."^ 
For in tropical countries, where the quantity of aque¬ 
ous vapour in the atmosphere is great, but where, on 
the other hand, the direct rays of the sun are most 
powerful, any impediment to the free circulation of 
air, or any screen which shades the earth from the 
solar rays, becomes a source of humidity; and v/hen- 
ever dampness or cold has begun to be generated 
by such causes, the condensation of vapour continues. 
The leaves, moreover, of all plants are alembics, and 
some of those in the torrid zone have the remarkable 
property of distilling water, thus contributing to pre¬ 
vent the earth from being parched up.”f This was 
a philosophy which the more acute thinkers among 
the people could partially comprehend, though they 
could not believe. I do not, however, despair of 
eventually seeing the whole of the population, some 
of whom are now commencing the building of stone 
fences and brick houses, so fully satisfied on this point 
that they will find it for their own interest, as well as 
contributing to the beauty of the country, to encourage 
the growth of timber, particularly as it is only such as 
is indigenous which can grow to any extent. To the 
same cause may be traced the diminution of fountains, 
and the entire failure of some which formerly afforded 
a copious supply, such as Griqua Town, Campbell, 
and a great number of others which might be men¬ 
tioned; and which, according to the established theory 
of springs, must be supplied by melted snow, rain, 

^ Phil. Trans, vol, ii. p, 294, -f Lyell’s Prin. Geo. 



dew, and vapours condensed. It lias been remarked, 
that since the accidental destruction of whole plains 
of the Olea similis (wild olive) by fire, near Griqua 
Town, as well as the diminishing of large shrubs on 
the neighbouring heights, a gradual decrease of rain 
has succeeded in that region, and thus the subterra¬ 
nean caverns found to serve as reservoirs in the bowels 
of the earth cease to be supplied, especially when 
there are no lofty mountains to pierce the clouds, or 
arrest and condense vapours which float in the at¬ 

The climate in the countries from the borders of 
the Colony to 25° north latitude, and to 24° east 
longitude, is very similar. The winds which prevail, 
especially in the higher regions, are from the west 
and north-west. Cold, withering winds frequently 
blow from the south during the winter months, in 
which rain rarely falls, and never with a south wind. 
In spring, (the end of August,) the north gales com¬ 
mence, and blow daily, with great violence, from 
about 10 A.M., to nearly sunset, when a still, serene 
night succeeds. During the prevalence of these winds, 
which continue till November, when the air becomes 
modified by thunder storms, the atmosphere appears 
as if dense with smoke, reaching as high as the 
clouds; this appearance is occasioned by the light 
particles of dust brought from the sandy plains of the 
Kalagare desert, which is so exquisitely fine, that it 
penetrates seams and cracks which are almost imper¬ 
vious to water. These winds may, with great pro¬ 
priety, he styled sandy monsoons. They are so dry, 
as to affect the skin very disagreeably ; and the pro¬ 
cess of exsiccation goes on rapidly, producing in the 



human frame extreme languor, and febrile symptoms, 
especially with those of a delicate constitution, who, 
though the morning may be perfectly serene, have in 
themselves indications of approaching wind for hours 
before it rises. Towards the latter end of the windy 
season, the thirsty cattle may frequently he seen turn¬ 
ing their heads northward to snulF the aqueous blast, 
as their instinctive powers catch the scent of the 
green herbage which is brought from the tropical 
regions. When this is the case, there is reason to 
hope that clouds will soon make their appearance 
from the opposite quarter. The wind is rarely from 
the east; and when it is, we expect rain, which 
will sometimes continue for days, and is what we 
denominate land-rains, being without thunder. The 
instinct of cattle under these circumstances is verv 
remarkable, and sometimes leads to serious conse¬ 
quences. I have known these animals, after having 
travelled nearly 200 miles from their country, when 
passing through one more sterile and dry, eagerly 
snuff the odoriferous gale blowing from the luxu¬ 
riant plains they had left, and start off in a straight 
line to the place from which they had come. 

Many years previous to my sojourn in Namaqua- 
land, Africaner lost the greater part of his cattle from 
this cause. One evening a strong wind commenced 
blowing from the north ; it smelt of green grass, as 
the natives expressed it. The cattle, not being in folds, 
started off after dark. The circumstance being unpre¬ 
cedented, it was supposed they had merely wandered 
out to the common where thev were accustomed to 
graze ; but it was found, alter much search, that some 
thousands of cattle had directed their course to the 



north. A few were recovered, but the majority 
escaped to the Damara country, after having been 
pursued hundreds of miles. This instinct directs the 
migrations of the antelope and the wild ass used to 
the wilderness, that snutfeth up the wind at her plea¬ 
sure, Jer. ii. 24. These winds, I have learned from 
inquiry, come from within the tropics, where rain 
has fallen, and the cool air thereby produced, rushes 
southward over the plains, tilling up the space caused 
by the I’arefaction of the air, owing to the approach of 
the sun to the tropic of Capricorn. The more bois¬ 
terous these winds are, the more reason we have to 
expect rain. They cannot extend to any great height, 
as the thunder storms which follow, and which often 
commence with a small cloud in the opposite direc¬ 
tion, increasing into mountains of snow, with a tinge 
of yellow, pursue an opposite course. These are 
preceded by a dead stillness, which continues till the 
tornado bursts upon us with awful violence, and 
the clouds have discharged their watery treasures. 
In such a case there are almost always two strata 
of clouds, I’requently moving in opposite directions. 
The higher mountain-like masses, with their edges 
exactly defined, going one way, while the feelers, or 
loose misty vapour beneath, convulsed, and rolling 
in fearful velocity, are going another; while the 
peals of thunder are such as to make the very 
earth tremble. The lightning is of three descrip¬ 
tions, one kind passing from cloud to cloud; this is 
seldom accompanied with any rain. Another kind is 
the forked, which may be seen passing through a 
cloud, and striking the earth; this is considered the 
most dangerous. The most common, not always 



accompanied by rain, is what we are in the habit of 
calling stream or chain-lightning. This appears to rise 
from the earth in figures of various shapes, crooked, 
zigzag, and oblique; and sometimes like a water¬ 
spout at sea: it continues several seconds, while the 
observer can distinctly see it dissolve in pieces like a 
broken chain. The perpetual roar of awful thunder 
on these occasions may be conceived, when tv/enty or 
more of these flashes may be counted in one minute. 
The lightning may also be seen passing upwards 
through the dense mass of vapour, and branching out 
like the limbs of a naked tree in the blue ^y above. 
In such storms the rain frequently falls in torrents, 
and runs off very rapidly, not moistening the earth, 
except in sandy plains, more than six inches deep. 

These storms are frequently very destructive, 
though not attended with that loss of life common 
in more populous countries. People are killed, espe¬ 
cially such as take refuge under trees; houses are 
struck, when, in general, some, if not all, the inmates 
perish. Game are frequently killed by it, and I have 
known about fifty head of cattle levelled on the spot. 
Though persons do become so far accustomed to 
these fearful displays of Almighty power as even to 
long for them, because they bring rain, yet they fre¬ 
quently produce great terror, especially among the 
lower orders of the animal creation. The antelopes 
flee in consternation; and I have had opportunities of 
observing the Balala (poor Bechuanas) start off early 
on the morning following such a storm, in quest of 
the young which have been cast through terror; 
thus illustrating the words of the Psalmist, as ren¬ 
dered in our English translation, ‘‘ The voice of the 



Lord causcth the liincls to calve,or somewhat 
clearer, as in the Dutch, ‘‘ cast their young.” 

While on the subject of thunder, it may he proper 
to observe, that we have in those latitudes what 
the natives call senimairi, (serumaeeree,) which is 
thunder without clouds. I have frequently heard it 
during my long abode in the country, and once in 
a position where no clouds could be seen for fifty 
or sixty miles round, even on the most distant 
horizon, for many weeks; indeed it may be said to 
be heard only when there are no clouds whatever 
to be seen. When it does occur, which is not often, 
it is after the sun has passed the meridian, and when 
the day is hottest, with little or no wind. The explo¬ 
sion appears to be in the clear hlue sky; and though 
over our heads, the intonations are soft, and nothing 
like lightning is to be seen. 

Among the varieties of meteorological phenomena, 
it might be here noticed, that explosions of sub¬ 
stances occasionally take place, which generally strike 
awe into the heathen, who are afraid of signs in 
the heavens. These occur after dry and sultry 
days. I never met, however, with a Mochuana who 
had seen or heard of the fall of aerolites. The 
natives never appeared to have formed any idea of 
the causes which produce the phenomena of the 
heavens, such as eclipses. The vague, though uni¬ 
versal notion prevails, when the moon is eclipsed, 
that a great chief has died. They are directed by 
the position of certain stars in the heavens, that the 
time has arrived, in the revolving year, when parti¬ 
cular roots can be dug up for use, or when tliey may 

* Psalm xxix. 9. 




commence their labours of the field. This is their 
likhakologo, (turnings or revolvings,) or what we 
should call the spring time of the year. The Pleiades 
they call selemela, which may be translated, cultivator, 
or the precursor of agriculture, from lemela, the 
relative verb to cultivate for and se, a pronominal 
prefix, distinguishing them as the actors. Thus, 
when this constellation assumes a certain position in 
the heavens, it is the signal to commence cultivating 
their fields and gardens.f Thunder they supposed 
to be caused by a certain bird, which may be seen 
soaring very high during the storm, and which ap¬ 
peared to the natives as if it nestled am^ong the 
forked lightnings. Some of these birds are not un- 
frequently killed, and their having been seen to 
descend to the earth may have given rise to this 
ludicrous notion. I have never had an opportunity of 
examining this bird, but I presume it belongs to the 
vulture species. 

Leaving these subjects for the present, we turn 
again to the mission, which, while it suffered much 
from the presence of the rain-maker, his absence did 
not appear to have produced any change on the 

* This peculiarity in the Sechuana language will be explained 
in the chapter on its character. 

■\ Dr. Thomas Winterbottom, in his account of the native Afri¬ 
cans in the neighbourhood of Sierra Leone, observes, in remarkable 
unison with this statement, that “ the proper time for preparing 
the plantations is shown by the particular situation in the heavens 
of the Pleiades, called by the Bulloms, awarrang.” In fact this 
notion prevails in almost all the nations of the interior of Africa 
with which we are acquainted, and forcibly illustrates the import of 
the interrogation, “ Canstthou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades 



minds of the natives, except that of mortification. 
We could not help being sincerely thankful that 
there was no public prohibition made against at¬ 
tendance on divine worship ; therefore, generally, a 
few came, though sometimes only such as were our 
dependents. A very large majority had never en¬ 
tered the chapel, being threatened by their supe¬ 
riors if thev did : and others would not for their 
lives have set a foot within the threshold. At an 
early period, when the place of worship was built, 
a wooden Dutch clock had been fixed upon the wall, 
for the purpose of regulating the hours of worship. 
Immediately above the dial was a small box, in 
which were a couple of lilliputian soldiers, who 
strutted out when the clock struck. Conrad Buys 
and others had poisoned the minds of some of the 
leading men with the idea that the missionaries 
were only the precursors of the Government, who 
would soon follow in their train, and make soldiers 
of every one of them. The little images in the 
clock were soon magnified into Goliaths, and the 
place of worship looked upon as an eintlu ea kholego, 
a house of bondage. It was necessary to take down 
the fairy-looking strangers, and cut a piece off their 
painted bodies, to convince the affrighted natives 
that the objects of their alarm were only bits of 
coloured wood. Many, however, thought themselves 
too wise to be thus easily deceived. Though per¬ 
fectly convinced of the egregious folly of believing 
that the little liseto, “carved ones,” would one day 
seize them by the throat in the sanctuary, they never¬ 
theless continued to suspect, that the motives of the 
missionary were anything but disinterested. 

z 2 


Reports of the Mantatees—The author’s wish to visit the interior— 
Opposition to the journey—The hunted khama—Wild dogs’ chase 
— Mantatees discovered—Return homeward—Proceed to Griqua 
Town—A Bechuana parliament held—Manner of the speakers— ■ 
A counsellor silenced—Taisho’s speech—The king’s concluding 

For more than a year numerous and strange reports 
had at intervals reached us, some indeed of such a 
character as induced us to treat them as the reveries 
of a madman. It was said that a mighty woman, of 
the name of Mantatee, was at the head .of an invinci¬ 
ble army, numerous as the locusts, marching onward 
among the interior nations, carrying devastation and 
ruin wherever she went; that she nourished the army 
with her own milk, sent out hornets before it, and, in 
one word, was laying the world desolate. Concluding 
that these might be only rumours of a destructive 
war carrying on by Chaka, the tyrant of the Zoolus, 
and that he was at too great a distance from us to 
affect our operations, I resolved on a journey which 
I had been contemplating for some months. This 
was to visit Makaba, the chief of the Bauangketsi, a 
powerful tribe, situated upwards of two hundred miles 
north-east of Lithako. I had various reasons for 
taking this step. The Batlapis, and the neighbouring 


tribes, were living in constant dread of an attack from 
so powerful an enemy, of whom they could never 
speak without stigmatizing him with the most op- 
prohrious epithets. It was desirable to open up a 
friendly intercourse to prevent hostilities, and it 
seemed advisable for me to attend more exclusively 
to the acquirement of the language, by associating, 
for a while, with the natives, when, at the same time, 
an opportunity was thus afforded of becoming better 
acquainted with the localities of the tribes, and, in 
addition to these objects, was the ultimate design of 
introducing the Gospel among that interesting people. 

About this time, receiving an invitation from Ma- 
kaba, the path of duty was plain ; but Mothibi, and 
indeed all the people, were greatly opposed to my 
design. Every thing injurious to the character of the 
Bauangketsi was raked up and placed before me. All 
the imaginary and real murders Makaba had ever 
committed were set in array, and every one swore by 
their king and their fathers, that if I went my doom 
was fixed, for I should never return, and therefore 
Ma-Mary and the two children might leave and return 
to our friends in England, for she would never see 
me again. We, with Mr. Hamilton, had deliberated 
together, and prayed over the subject, and were not 
dismayed by their representations. When the day 
arrived for my departure, Mothibi, finding he could 
not prevail by arguments, positively forbade those 
under his control to accompany me. Feeling no 
inclination to give up my intention, I started with 
such men as I had. On reaching Old Lithako, on 
the third day, I found the reports about the Man- 
tatees somewhat revived, and the natives strongly 



advised me to proceed no farther than Nokaneng, 
about twenty miles distant. The reports being such 
as we had heard before, and knowing that they wished, 
by every means, to intimidate me, I proceeded on the 
following day, after having preached to a great num¬ 
ber of the natives. On arriving at Nokaneng, I found 
that rumours had reached that place that the Baro- 
longs, at Kunuana, about one hundred miles off, had 
been also attacked, and the towms were in the hands 
of the marauders ; but as spies had been sent out 
to ascertain the truth, I remained, employing every 
opportunity afforded to impart instruction. The 
spies returning without having heard anything of the 
reported invaders, I proceeded, with my small com¬ 
pany, towards the Bauangketsi tribes. After travel¬ 
ling four days over a dry and trackless part of the 
country, occasionally meeting with a few of the poor 
Bechuanas, we came to a fine valley, Mosite, in which 
were some pools, and plenty of game, especially the 
rhinoceros. Having shot one of these ponderous 
animals, we halted a day to prepare the meat, by 
cutting it up into slices, and hanging it in the sun to 
dry. One would have been more than sufficient for 
our company ; and it was only at the urgent request 
of the poor people that a couple more were shot, 
as they very rarely succeed in killing such animals, 
except it be in a pit-fall. 

During our stay at this place a circumstance oc¬ 
curred which may throw some light on the habits of 
these people, and confirms the old adage, “ that the 
one-half of the world does not know how the other 
half lives.'’ It was at noonday when a fine large 
hartebeest (khama of the Bechuanas,) the swiftest of 



the antelope species,^ darted close past the wagon, 
and descended towards the extensive valley. Startled 
by so unusual an occurrence, one of the natives called 
out, “It is the wild dogs and presently the whole 
pack made their appearance, following their leader, 
which was pursuing the antelope. We seized our 
guns to attack them as beasts of prey. The poor 
people who were sitting around their flesh-pots 
started up and followed, begging of us most earnestly 
not to kill the wild dogs, for they were their pro¬ 
viders. We of course laid down our guns again, and 
directed our attention to the khama, which was soon 
overtaken and seized by the hind leg. It turned 
round-to defend itself, and then started off till again 
seized by the wild dog. As we had in a measure 
retarded the speed of the pack, about thirty in num¬ 
ber, the single dog which was engaged baiting the 
khama looked round and gave a piteous howl for his 
companions to come to his assistance. When they 
overtook the poor animal they fell upon it with one 
accord, and instantly brought it to the ground. One 
of my men ran off' in order to secure a piece of the 
skin, of which he wanted to make shoes, but by the 
time he reached the spot, nothing remained but bones, 
and those well picked. These the poor people after¬ 
wards collected for the sake of the marrow. On 

* “ The harteheest is one of the finest animals of the antelope 
family ; it is fieet, and graceful in its gait. The male is about 
seven feet long, and five feet high, with handsome recurvated horns 
growing from approximated bases. The female is of a smaller size. 
The fiecsh is good, and bears a considerable resemblance to beef.”— 
l^ringle. There are immense herds of these animals in the interior, 
and generally of a larger size than the above. 


WILD dogs’ chase. 

farther inquiry, I found that these people are in the 
habit, when they see an antelope, or even an ostrich, 
pursued by the wild dogs, of endeavouring to frighten 
them away, that they may come in for a share of the 
prey. One of the men, with much feeling for him¬ 
self and companions, said, patting his hand on his 
stomach, “ Oh, I am glad you did not shoot the 
dogs, for they often find us a meal.” At another 
place the poor people were very glad, on the same 
account, that we had not killed the lion which had 
been troublesome to us during the night. These 
children of the desert very promptly described the 
manner of the wild-dog chase, which I have since 
had opportunities of witnessing. When the dogs 
approach a troop of antelopes, they select one, no 
matter how it may mingle with others on the dusty 
plain ; the dog that starts never loses scent, or, if he 
does, it is soon discovered by the pack, which follow 
after, as they spread themselves the more readily to 
regain it. While the single dog who takes the lead 
has occasion to make angles in pursuit of his prey, 
the others, who hear his cry or short howl, avoid a 
circuitous course, and by this means easily come up 
again, when a fresh dog resumes the chase, and the 
other turns into the pack. In this way they relieve 
each other till they have caught the animal, which 
they rarely fail to accomplish, though sometimes after 
a very long run. Should they in their course happen 
to pass other game much nearer than the one in pur¬ 
suit, they take no notice of it. These dogs, of which 
there are two species, never attack man, but are very 
destructive to sheep and goats, and even to cows, 
when they come in their way. 



While these things were going on we were on the 
alert, and made inquij’ies of every stranger we met 
about tlie invaders, but coukl learn nothing, although 
we were not more than fifteen miles from the town, 
of wliich it Avas reported the enemy were in posses¬ 
sion. We saw, on a distant hei 2 :]it, some men who 
were evidently looking our way, and their not ap¬ 
proaching our w^agons was so unusual with hungry 
natives, tliat we thought they must be strangers from 
a great distance, or some of the Mantatees. Twm 
days passed over, and on the next, when w^e were 
about to start for the Bauangketsi, two Barolongs 
passing by, informed us of the fact that the Mantatees 
were in possession of the town, which lay rather in 
our rear, behind some heights, which we distinctly 
saw. As one of these men had narrowly escaped with 
his life in the conflict with that people, no doubt was 
left in our minds as to the propriety of returning im¬ 
mediately to the place wdience we had come, particu¬ 
larly as there was a probability that our course might 
be intercepted, some prisoners who had escaped 
having reported that the enemy were about to start 
for Lithako. We lost no time in returning to Noka- 
neng, and were met there by individuals who authen¬ 
ticated my report to some thousands, who were pleas- 
ins: themselves with the idea that there was no such 


enemy. When I arrived at our station the fearful 
news spread rapidly. A public meeting w^as con¬ 
vened, and the principal men met, to whom I gave a 
circumstantial account of all the information I had 
gathered res])ecting the character and progress of the 
Mantatees : That they were really a numerous and 
[)owerful body, had destroyed many towns ot the 



Bakone tribes, slaughtered immense numbers of 
people, laid Kurrechane in ruins, scattered the Baro- 
longs, and, in addition, were said to he cannibals ! 
The alarming tidings produced at first a gloom on 
every countenance, and when I had finished speaking, 
a profound silence reigned for some minutes. Mo- 
thibi then replied in the name of the assembly, that he 
was exceedingly thankful that I had been tlogo e that a ^ 
hard-headed, and pursued my journey, for, by so 
doing, I had discovered to them their danger. 

All were now ready to bless me for having taken 
my own way. They solicited counsel, but all I could 
give was to flee to the Colony, or call in the assist¬ 
ance of the Griquas; that as the Bechuanas were 
entirely unable to resist so numerous and savage a 
force as the Mantatees, I would proceed instantly to 
Griqua Town, give information, convey their wishes, 
and obtain assistance and wagons to remove our goods 
from the station. Some proposed fleeing to the Kala- 
gare desert; but from this I strongly dissuaded them, 
fearing that many would perish from want. As no 
time was to be lost, in the absence of horses, I pro¬ 
ceeded with my wagon to Griqua Town, where I had 
the pleasure of meeting, at Mr. Melvill’s house, George 
Thompson, Esq., of Cape Town, who was on a tour, 
and about to visit Lithako. 

As soon as the purpose of my embassy was com¬ 
municated, Waterboer, the chief, started off for Camp¬ 
bell, on horseback, to confer with the people there, it 
being the opinion of the Griquas that if the enemy 
were to be resisted at all, it should be done at a dis¬ 
tance. They promised to lose no time in coming to 
the Kuruman with a party, when further deliberations 



might be made. Next morning I returned, accom¬ 
panied by Mr. Thompson, and many anxious minds 
were anticipating the result of my journey, the public 
mind being completely unhinged, although no fresh 
tidings had arrived respecting the objects of their 
terror. The resolution of the Griquas to meet the 
enemy at a distance, gave entire satisfaction. Orders 
were sent off to the different towns and villages, and 
to the Batlaros, that a pitsho, or parliament, be con¬ 
vened on the following day. As subjects of great 
national interest were to be discussed, all were in 
motion early in the morning of June 13, 1823. About 
10 A.M. the whole body of armed men, amounting 
to about 1000, came to the outskirts of the town, and 
returned again to the public fold or place of assembly, 
some singing war-songs, others engaged in mock- 
fights, with all the fantastic gestures which their wild 
imaginations could invent. The whole body took their 
seats, lining the fold, leaving an arena in the centre 
for the speakers. 

A few short extracts from some of the speeches will 
serve to show the manner in which these meetings 
are conducted. Although the whole exhibits a very 
grotesque scene, business is carried on with the most 
perfect order. There is but little cheering, and still 
less hissing, while every speaker fearlessly states his 
own sentiments. The audience is seated on the 
ground, (as represented in the accompanying sketch,) 
each man having before him his shield, to which is 
attached a number of spears. A quiver containing 
poisoned arrows, is hung from the shoulder, and a 
battle-axe is held in his right hand. Many were 
adorned with tiger-skins, and tails, and had plumes 



of feathers waving on their heads.* In the centre a 
snfficient space was left for the privileged, those who 
had killed an enemy in battle, to dance and sing, in 
which tliey exhibited the most violent and fantastic 
gestures conceivable, which drew forth from the 
spectators the most clamorous applause. When they 

* This sketch was taken while Mothibi was cutting his capers 
before commencing his speech. It was natural to expect that, 
however much the natives might contemn our doctrines, as being 
in direct opposition to tbeir customs, and to the lusts of the flesh, 
they would, nevertheless, be led, for their own comfort and con¬ 
venience, to adopt our plain and simple mode of dress. Though, 
strictly speaking, they were neither naked nor obscene in their 
attire and manners, their dress, to say the least, was disgusting. 
Any thing like an infringement on the ancient garb of the nation 
was looked on as a caricature of ours, and therefore it appeared in 
their eyes what a man in this country would be with a lady’s bon¬ 
net or cap on his head—a Merry-Andrew. Various articles of 
clothing were sent from England for the queen and noblesse of 
Lithako ; but none of these made their appearance. When visitors 
came, which in those days was a rare thing, they would offer the 
present of a garment, which shared the same fate. Mahuto, the 
queen, promised that if Mrs. M. would make her a dress, she 
would wear it. She gladly set her needle to work. The dress was 
presented, but that too disnppeared. When the missionary’s wife 
prevailed on a couple of girls to come into the house to nurse, and 
do other little household services, it required some persuasion to 
induce them to put oit something like a frock to keep them from 
making every thing the greasy red colour of their owui bodies. 
When they returned in the evening to their homes, they would 
throw off the temporary garb, however bright its colours, as some¬ 
thing filthy and disgusting. An idea may be formed of the fan¬ 
tastic appearance of the natives in the absurd use of some articles of 
European dress, from the fact that we observed the king, while 
sitting among the warriors at the meeting, w'earing a white garment, 
but could form no idea what it was, until he bounded into the 
arena, and, lo ! it was a chemise ! Whence it came, or what became 
of it afterwards, no one knew\ 




x-^L* • 

' ■ .... 





retire to their seats, the speaker commences, by com¬ 
manding silence. “ Be silent, ye Batlapis. Be silent, 
ye Barolongs,” addressing each tribe distinctly, not 
excepting the white people, if any happen to be pre¬ 
sent, and to which each responds with a groan. He 
then takes from his shield a spear, and points it in 
the direction in which the enemy is advancing, im¬ 
precating a curse upon them, and thus declaring war, 
by repeatedly thrusting his spear in that direction, as 
if plunging it into the enemy. This receives a loud 
whistling sound of applause. He next directs his 
spear towards the Bushmen-country, south and south¬ 
west, imprecating also a curse on those “ox-eaters,” 
as they are called. The king, on this, as on all similar 
occasions, introduced the business of the day by, “Ye 
sons of Molehabangue,”—viewing all the influential 
men present as the friends or allies of his kingdom, 
which rose to more than its former eminence under 
the reign of that monarch, his father,—“ the Man- 
tatees are a strong and victorious people, they have 
overwhelmed many nations, and they are approaching 
to destroy us. We have been apprised of their man¬ 
ners, their deeds, their weapons, and their intentions. 
We cannot stand against the Mantatees ; we must now 
concert, conclude, and be determined to stand ; the 
case is a great one. You have seen the interest the 
missionary has taken in your safety; if we exert our¬ 
selves as he has done, the Mantatees can come no 
farther. You see the white people are our friends. 
You see Mr. Thompson, a chief man of the Cape, 
has come to see us on horseback ; he has not come 
to lurk behind our houses as a spy, but come openly 


moshume’s speech. 

and with confidence ;—his intentions are good ; he is 
one on whom the light of day may shine; he is our 
friend. I now wait to hear what the general opinion 
is. Let every one speak his mind, and then I shall 
speak again.” Mothibi manoeuvred his spear as at the 
commencement, and then pointing it towards heaven, 
the audience shouted, “ Pula” (rain,) on which he sat 
down amidst a din of applause. 

Between each speaker a part or verse of a war- 
song is sung; the same antics are then performed, 
and again universal silence is commanded. The se¬ 
cond speaker, Moshume, said, ‘‘To-day we are called 
upon to oppose an enemy who is the enemy of all. 
Moffat has been near the camp of the enemy: we 
all opposed his going; we are to-day all glad that 
he went; he did not listen to us, he has warned us 
and the Griquas. What are we now to do ? If we 
flee they will overtake us ; if we fight they will con¬ 
quer, they are as strong as a lion, they kill and eat, 
they leave nothing. (Here an old man interrupted 
the speaker, begging him to roar aloud that all might 
hear.) I know ye, Batlapis,” continued Moshume, 
“ that at home and in the face of women ye are men, 
but women in the face of the enemy; ye are ready 
to run when you should stand; think, think and 
prepare your hearts this day, be united in one, make 
your hearts hard.” Incha, a Morolong, commenced 
his speech by recommending that the Batlapis should 
wait till the Mantatees arrived and then attack them ; 
he had scarcely said this, when he was interrupted 
by Isite, a young chief, who sprang up, calling out, 
“No, no ; who called upon you to speak foolishness ? 


Was there ever a king or chief of the Bat] apis who 
said you must stand up and speak ? Do you intend 
to instruct the sons of Molehabangue ? Be silent ! 
You say you know the men, and yet you wish us to 
wait till they enter our town ; the Mantatees are con- 
querors, and, if we flee, we must lose all. Hear and I 
will speak ; let us attack the enemy where they are ; 
if we retreat, there will be time for those in the rear 
to flee. We may fight and flee, and at last conquer ; 
this we cannot do if we wait till they approach our 
town.” This speech was loudly cheered, while India 
silently sat down. A chief, considerably advanced 
in years, afterwards addressed the assembly. ‘‘Ye 
sons of Molehabangue, ye have now had experience 
enough to convince you that it is your duty to pro¬ 
ceed against the Mantatees, who have no object but 
to steal and destroy. Ye sons of Molehabangue ! ye 
sons of Molehabangue ! ye have done well this day. 
You are now actino; wisely, first to deliberate and 
then to proceed : the missionary has discovered our 
danger, like the rising sun after a dark night ; a man 
sees the danger he was in when darkness shut his 
eyes. We must not act like Bechuanas, we must 
act like Makooas (white people) . Is this our pitsho ? 
No, it is the pitsho of the missionary ; therefore we 
must speak and act like Makooas.” 

Taisho arose, and having commanded silence, was 
received with reiterated applause ; on which an old 
warrior rushed furiously up to him, and holding forth 
his arm, called out, “Behold the man who shall 
speak wisdom. Be silent, be instructed ; a man, a 
wise man has stood up to speak.” Taisho informed 

352 THE king’s concluding address. 

the preceding speaker that he was the man who 
charged his people with desertion in time of war. 
“Ye cowards, ye vagabonds,” he exclaimed, “ deny the 
charge if you can. Shall I count up how often you 
have done so ? Were I to repeat the instances, you 
would decamp like a chastened dog, or with shame 
place your heads between your knees.” Addressing 
the assembly, he said, “ I do not rise to-day to make 
speeches, I shall wait till the day of mustering. I 
beseech you to reflect on what is before you, and let 
the subject sink deep into your hearts, that you may 
not turn your backs in the day of battle.” Turning 
to the king, he said, “You are too indifferent about 
the concerns of your people ; you are rolled up in 
apathy ; you are now called upon to show that you 
are a king and a man.” 

When several other speakers had delivered their 
sentiments, chiefly exhorting to unanimity and cou¬ 
rage, Mothibi resumed his central position, and after 
the usual gesticulations, commanded silence. Having 
noticed some remarks of the preceding speakers, he 
added, “It is evident that the best plan is to pro¬ 
ceed against the enemy, that they come no nearer; 
let not our towns be the seat of war; let not our 
houses be the scenes of bloodshed and destruction. 
No ! let the blood of the enemy be spilt at a distance 
from our wives and children.” Turning to the aged 
chief, he said, “ I hear you, my father; I understand 
you, my father; your words are true, they are good 
for the ear; it is good that we he instructed by 
the Makooas; I wish those evil who will not obey; 
I wish that they may be broken in pieces.” Then 

THE king’s concluding ADDRESS. 353 

addressing tlie warriors, ‘‘ There are many of you 
who do not deserve to eat out of a bowl, but only 
out of a broken pot; think on what has been said, 
and obey without murmuring. I command you, ye 
cliiefs of the Batlapis, Batlaros, Bamairis, Barolongs, 
and Bakotus, that you acquaint all your tribes of 
the proceedings of this day; let none be ignorant; 
I say again, ye warriors, prepare for the battle ! let 
your shields be strong, your quivers full of arrows, 
and your battle axes as sharp as hunger.” “ Be 
silent, ye Kidney-eaters,”* (addressing the old men,) 

ye who are of no farther use but to bang about for 
kidneys when an ox is slaughtered. If your oxen 
are taken, where will you get any more?” Turning 
to the women, be said, “ Prevent not the warrior from 
going out to battle by your cunning insinuations. 
No, rouse the warrior to glory, and be will return 
with honourable scars, fresh marks of valour will 
cover bis thighs, and we shall then renew the war- 
song and dance, and relate the story of our con¬ 
quest.” At the conclusion of this speech the air was 
rent with acclamations, the whole assembly occasion¬ 
ally joining in the dance; the women frequently 
taking the weapons from the hands of the men, and 
brandishing them in the most violent manner ; and 
people of all ages using the most extravagant and 
frantic gestures for nearly two hours. 

* Kidneys are eaten only by the aged, and young people will not 
taste them on any account, from the superstitious idea that they can 
have no children if they do so. 


The Griquas arrive—The commando proceeds—Appalling sights—■ 
Narrow escape—Battle commences—Savage fighting—The enemy 
flee—The women and children—Description of the Mantatees— 
Renewed attempts to rescue the women—A night’s anxiety 
—Fresh alarms—The women and dead horse—Goods stolen— 
Cruelty of the Bechuanas—Review of the subject—Concluding 
reflections—Missionary among the Mantatees. 

During the interval of eleven days which elapsed 
before assistance could arrive from Griqua Town, 
very great uneasiness prevailed on the station, and 
most of our heavy goods were packed and buried, 
that we might not be encumbered should flight be¬ 
come inevitable.* As it had been frequently reported 
that there were white men among the invaders, when 
the commando, consisting of about a hundred horse- 

* Mr. Thompson, who, with a guide, reconnoitred the movements 
of the Mantatees whom he witnessed entering Old Lithako, returned 
to the Colony to give information of the near approach of so pow¬ 
erful an enemy. He had taken the liveliest interest in the whole 
affair, as well as in the welfare of the mission, which endeared him 
not only to us, but to the natives, who had very characteristically 
described him as a “ man on whom the light of day might shine.” 
His kind and generous disposition sympathised with us in our anxie¬ 
ties and troubles, which at the same time afforded him opportunities 
of forming a correct estimate of our real situation and danger, which 
he has so well described in his “Travels,” long before the public. 



men, arrived, it was the general opinion that I ought 
to accompany them; as, having some knowledge of 
the language, my presence might have more influ¬ 
ence in bringing about a treaty ; and Mr. Melvill, 
Government agent at Griqua Town, having arrived 
with the intention of accompanying the commando, 
we started on the following day. Before leaving, we 
all met to pray for Divine counsel, which we felt we 
greatly needed. The future appeared dark and por¬ 
tentous, and we were convinced that nothing but an 
Almighty power could preserve the country from im¬ 
pending ruin, by arresting the progress of those whose 
feet were swdft to shed blood. A blessing on the 
means of preventing its further effusion was earnestly 
implored, and if recourse must be had to violent 
measures, that the heads of those engaged might be 
shielded in the day of battle. Having bivouacked at 
the Matlaurin River, Waterboer, the Griqua chief, 
I, and a few others, mounted our horses after 
dark, rode forward for about four hours, and then 
halted among some trees till morning. At daybreak 
we again proceeded till we came within sight of the 
enemy, who were lying a short distance south of the 
town of Lithako. A second and more numerous 
division occupied the town itself. Our first impres¬ 
sions were, on seeing an immense black surface on 
the opposite declivity, from which many small co¬ 
lumns of smoke were arising, that the bushes and 
grass had been set on fire during the night; but on 
closer inspection we were startled to find it the camp 
of one portion of the enemy, containing a mass of 
human beings. As we drew nearer, we saw that we 
were discovered, and considerable confusion prevailed. 

2 A 2 



The war axes and brass ornaments could be distinctly 
seen glittering in the sun. 

Waterboer and I rode up to a young woman whom 
we saw in one of the ravines. In reply to our 
question, made in the Bechuana language, she said 
that the invaders had come from a distant country, 
but would give no farther information. She was 
gathering the pods of the acacia, and eating them ; 
which, as well as her appearance, indicated the most 
extreme want. Having told her who we were, and 
that our object was to speak to the people, and not to 
fight, we gave her some food, and a piece of tobacco, 
—requesting her to go and apprise them of our wishes. 
We then advanced within two musket shots of the 
enemy, where we found, reclining under a small rock, 
an old man and his son; the latter without the least 
signs of animation, while the father could scarcely 
articulate that he too was dying from hunger. We 
could only learn from this object of pity, that the 
people to whom he belonged were the common enemy 
so much dreaded. We remained here for about half 
an hour, to allow the young woman ample time to 
inform the main body, and at the same time to con¬ 
vince the enemy we were not afraid of them, nor dis¬ 
posed to injure them. In the mean time we despatched 
one of our men to give information to the commando, 
who were about twenty miles behind. On looking 
around in search of water, we saw the dead bodies (re¬ 
duced to skeletons) of several of the enemy, who had 
come to the pool to drink, and there expired ; one 
lying partly in the element with which we had to 
quench our thirst. While standing, we observed that 
all the cattle were collected and inclosed in the centre 



of tlie multitiide. No one came near us, except a few 
warriors, who, in a threatening attitude, dared our ap¬ 
proach, hut whose spears fell short of the mark. It had 
been agreed that one of our number, and I, after ad¬ 
vancing within a short distance of the enemy, should 
dismount, and go forward unarmed, and invite two 
or three of them to come and speak with us. This 
plan, however, was entirely defeated. We had all 
just approached within a hundred yards, and two 
of us were just about leaving our saddles, when the 
savages uttered a hideous yell ; and I had hardly 
time to say, “ Be upon your guard, they are pre¬ 
paring to attack,” when several hundred armed men 
rushed forward in a furious manner, throwing their 
weapons with such velocity, that we had scarcely 
time to turn our terrified steeds, and gallop clear of 
them. Having retreated a few hundred yards, we 
stopped, and stood perfectly astonished at their 
savage fury. Seeing no possible means of bringing 
them to a parley, we retired to a height at a short 
distance, but within view of the enemy. Here we 
remained the whole day, and, to supply our wants, 
shot two khoris, called by the colonists, wild pea¬ 
cocks, a species of bustard, which we very thankfully 
roasted and ate. We, at a very great risk, sent the 
horses to the water,—all to inspire confidence in the 
Mantatees, that some one might be influenced to draw 
near,—but none approached. At sunset I left Wa- 
terhoer and the scouts, and rode back, to confer 
with Mr. Melvill and the other Gricpia chiefs, and 
to devise some scheme to bring the enemy to terms 
of peace, and prevent, if possible, the dreadful con¬ 
sequences of a battle. The Griquas had come, 
headed by their respective chiefs, Adam Kok, Berend 



Berend, Andries Waterboer, and Cornelius Kok; 
but it was unanimously agreed that Waterboer should 
take the command. Cornelius nobly and generously 
insisted on my taking his best horse, urging that 
my life was far more valuable than his. This kind 
act was the more sensibly felt, as the horse was one 
of the strongest in the commando ; and but for this 
circumstance, I could not have done what I did, 
nor, humanly speaking, could I have escaped with 
my life. 

Having spent an almost sleepless night on the 
plain, from extreme cold, we were all in motion 
next morning before daylight. The attempt made 
the preceding day to bring about a friendly commu¬ 
nication having entirely failed, it was judged expe¬ 
dient for the commando to ride up to the invaders, 
hoping, from the imposing appearance of about one 
hundred horsemen, to intimidate them, and bring 
them to a parley. For this purpose, the commando 
approached within 150 yards, with a view to beckon 
some one to come out. On this the enemy com¬ 
menced their terrible howl, and at once discharged 
their clubs and javelins. Their hlack dismal appear¬ 
ance, and savage fury, with their hoarse and sten¬ 
torian voices, were calculated to daunt; and the 
Griquas, on their first attack, wisely retreated to a 
short distance, and again drew up. Waterboer, the 
chief, commenced firing, and levelled one of their 
warriors to the ground ; several more instantly shared 
the same fate. It was confidently expected that 
their courage would be daunted when they saw their 
warriors fall by an invisible weapon ; and it was hoped 
they would be humbled and alarmed, that thus farther 
bloodshed might be prevented. Though they beheld 



with astonishment the dead, and the stricken war¬ 
riors writhing in the dust, they looked with lion-like 
fierceness at the horsemen, and yelled vengeance, 
violently wrenching the weapons from the hands of 
their dying companions, to supply those they had 
discharged at their antagonists. Sufficient intervals 
were afforded, and every encouragement held out 
for them to make proposals, hut all was ineffectual. 
They sallied forth with increased vigour, so as to 
oblige the Griquas to retreat, though only to a short 
distance, for they never attempted to pursue above 
two hundred yards from their camp. The firing, 
though without any order, was very destructive, as 
each took a steady aim. Many of their chief men 
fell victims to their own temerity, after manifesting 
undaunted spirit. Again and again the chiefs and 
Mr. Melvill met to deliberate how to act so as to 
prevent bloodshed among a people who appeared 
determined to die rather than flee, which they could 
easily have done. 

Soon after the battle commenced, the Bechuanas 
came up, and united in playing on the enemy with 
poisoned arrows, but they were soon driven back ; 
half-a-dozen of the fierce Mantatees made the whole 
body scamper off in wild disorder. After two hours 
and a half’s combat, the Griquas, finding their am¬ 
munition fast diminishing, at the almost certain risk 
of loss of life, began to storm ; when the enemy gave 
way, taking a westerly direction. The horsemen, 
however, intercepted them, when they immediately 
descended towards the ravine, as if determined not 
to return by the way they came, which they crossed, 
but were again intercepted. On turning round, they 



seemed desperate, but were soon repulsed. Great con¬ 
fusion now prevailed, the ground being very stony, 
which rendered it difficult to manage the horses. At 
this moment an awful scene was presented to the 
view. The undulating country around was covered 
with warriors, all in motion, so that it was difficult 
to say who were enemies or who were friends. 
Clouds of dust were rising from the immense masses, 
who appeared flying with terror, or pursuing with 
fear. To the alarming confusion was added the 
bellowing of oxen, the vociferations of the yet un¬ 
vanquished warriors, mingled with the groans of the 
dying, and the widows’ piercing wail, and the cries 
from infant voices. The enemy then directed their 
course towards the town, which was in possession 
of a tribe of the same people, still more numerous. 
Here another desperate struggle ensued, when the 
foe appeared determined to inclose the horsemen 
within the smoke and flames of the houses, through 
which they were slowly passing, giving the enemy 
time to escape. At last, seized with despair, they 
fled precipitately. It had been observed during the 
flght that some women went backward and forward 
to the town, only about half a mile distant, appa¬ 
rently with the most perfect indifference to their 
fearful situation. While the commando was strug¬ 
gling between hope and despair of being able to route 
the enemy, information was brought that the half 
of their forces, under Chuane, were reposing in the 
town, within sound of the guns, perfectly regardless 
of the fate of the other division, under the command 
of Karaganye. It was supposed they possessed entire 
confidence in the yet invincible army of the latter, 



being the more warlike of the two. Humanly speaking, 
had both parties been together, the day would have 
been lost, when they could, with perfect ease, have 
carried devastation into the centre of the Colony. 
When both parties were united, they set fire to all 
parts of the town, and appeared to be taking their 
departure, proceeding in an immense body towards 
the north. If their number may be calculated by the 
space of ground occupied by the entire body, it must 
have amounted to uj)wards of forty thousand. The 
Griquas pursued them about eight miles ; and though 
they continued desperate, they seemed filled with terror 
at the enemies by whom they had been overcome. 

As soon as they retired from the spot where 
they had been encamped, the Bechuanas, like vora¬ 
cious wolves, began to plunder and despatch the 
wounded men, and to butcher the women and chil¬ 
dren with their spears and war axes. As fighting 
was not my province, of course I avoided discharging 
a single shot, though, at the request of Mr. Melvill 
and the chiefs, I remained with the commando, as the 
only means of safety. Seeing the savage ferocity of 
the Bechuanas, in killing the inoffensive women and 
children, for the sake of a few paltry rings, or of being 
able to boast that they had killed some of the Manta- 
tees, I turned my attention to these objects of pity, 
who were flying in consternation in all directions. By 
my galloping in among them, many of the Bechuanas 
were deterred from their barbarous purpose. It was 
distressing to see mothers and infants rolled in blood, 
and the living hahe in the arms of a dead mother. 
All ages and both sexes lay prostrate on the ground. 
Shortly after they began to retreat, the women, seeing 



that mercy was shown them, instead of flying, gene¬ 
rally sat down, and, baring their bosoms, exclaimed, 
“ I am a woman, I am a woman !” It seemed impos¬ 
sible for the men to yield. There were several in¬ 
stances of wounded men being surrounded by fifty 
Bechuanas, but it was not till life was almost extinct 
that a single one would allow himself to be conquered. 
I saw more than one instance of a man fighting boldly, 
with ten or twelve spears and arrows fixed in his body. 
The cries of infants which had fallen from the breasts 
of their mothers, who had fled or were slain, were 
distinctly heard, while many of the women appeared 
thoughtless as to their dreadful situation. Several 
times I narrowly escaped the spears and war axes of 
the wounded, while busy in rescuing the women and 
children. The men, struggling with death, would 
raise themselves from the ground, and discharge their 
weapons at any one of our number within their reach : 
their hostile and revengeful spirit only ceased when 
life was extinct. Contemplating this deadly conflict, 
we could not but admire the mercy of God, that not 
one of our number was killed, and only one slightly 

wounded. One Bechuana lost his life while too 


eagerly seeking for plunder. The slain of the enemy 
was between four and five hundred. 

The Mantatees are a tall, robust people, in features 
resembling the Bechuanas; their dress consists of 
prepared ox hides, hanging double over the shoul¬ 
ders. The men during the engagement were nearly 
naked, having on their heads a round cockade of black 
ostrich feathers. Their ornaments were large copper 
rings, sometimes eight in number, worn round their 
necks, with numerous arm, leg, and ear rings, of the 



same material. Their weapons were war axes of 
various shapes, spears and clubs ; into many of 
their knob-sticks were inserted pieces of iron resem¬ 
bling a sickle, but more curved, sometimes to a circle, 
and sharp on the outside. Their language was only a 
dialect of the Sechuana, as I understood them nearly 
as well as the people among whom I lived. They 
appeared more rude and barbarous than the tribes 
around us, the natural consequences of the warlike 
life they had led. They were suffering dreadfully 
from want; even in the heat of battle, the poorer 
class seized pieces of meat and devoured them raw. 
At the close of the battle, when Mr. Melvill and I 
had collected many women and children, and were 
taking them to a place of safety, it was with the 
utmost difficulty we could get them forward. They 
willingly followed till they found a piece of meat, 
which had been thrown away in the flight, when 
nearly all would halt to tear and devour it, though 
perfectly raw. Some of the prisoners were so ex¬ 
tremely weak as to oblige us to leave them behind. 
AVe learned from others that the Mantatees had in¬ 
tended to begin their march towards Kuruman the 
very day we encountered them, and had slaughtered 
cattle to make themselves strong. They had driven 
out the inhabitants of Nokaneng, ransacked and burnt 
that town, and were about to finish with Lithako in 
the same manner, when ‘‘the thunder and lightning 
of the Griquas” (as they termed the musketry) drove 
them back. 

As my presence was no longer required, either to 
prevent bloodshed or save life, I returned to the 
station, where Mr. Melvill arrived two days after 



with the prisoners, to whose comfort and welfare he 
attended with unremitting care. It was afterwards 
deemed advisable that some of the Griquas should go 
and learn what direction the enemy had taken; but 
this they declined. Messrs. Hamilton and Melvill 
then set off with a wagon^ to rescue the women and 
children who might still survive, trusting that some 
of the Griquas would follow with their horses, which 
Mr. M. olfered to hire. Two days after their depar¬ 
ture the report reached us, that, after the battle, the 
retreating enemy had attacked and plundered three 
different towns, and were even threatening yet to visit 
the Kuruman, to revenge their loss, supposing that 
the horses and guns being gone, the Bechuanas, whom 
they considered as the dust of their feet, would be 
utterly unable to resist them. 

On receiving the above alarming information, I 
despatched two men with a letter to Messrs. Hamil¬ 
ton and Melvill, for whose safety we now felt the most 
trembling anxiety, being without horses^ and not a 
single Griqua having accompanied them. I also sent 
off with all speed a letter to Waterboer, pointing out 
the necessity of recalling his force. The uncertainty 
whether the enemy was not in the precincts of the 
town, caused us to spend a most uneasy night. This 
was a night of great anxiety. Messengers arrived 
announcing the certain approach of the Mantatees. 
It was dark and dreary. The town was without lights 
of any description, except the few embers of the house- 
fires, round which sat the trembling families. Most 
of the men were out of doors, listening to anything 
like an unusual sound. The dogs kept up incessant 
barking. No watches were set^ no spies sent out. There 



was no inhabitant between us and the field of battle. 
Every one appeared afraid to move from the spot where 
be stood. A cry of sorrow was raised in one part of the 
town which made every heart palpitate. It was the 
intelligence of one newly arrived,—the melancholy 
tale of the parent of a family having been slain by the 
Mantatees. Occasionally a chief would come to our 
houses to announce his terror. Imagination painted 
the town surrounded by a host of the enemy, waiting 
the dawn of day to commence a general massacre. 

The Mantatee women in our kitchens and outhouses 
perceived the alarm, but looked on, or slept, with the 
most perfect indifierence. Again and again parties 
came and knocked violently at our door, relating new 
fears—the spectres of their feverish minds. Mrs. M. 
put warm clothes on the two sleeping babes, in case of 
being able to escape on foot towards the mountain; 
while I hung my cloak and my gun close by the door 
—the latter being necessary for protection, in our 
flight, from beasts of prey. A woman who had the 
day before but scarcely escaped the deadly weapons of 
the enemy, ran the whole night, and on reaching the 
threshold of one of the houses, fainted with fatigue, 
and fell to the ground. On recovering, the first words 
she articulated were, “The Mantatees!” This went 
through the thousands like an electric shock. As 
morning light drew near, the intensity of feeling in¬ 
creased a hundred-fold. This was a season for the 
exercise of prayer, and faith in the promises of our 
God. The name of Jehovah was to us a strong 
tower, for, on looking hack to that as well as to 
similar periods, we have often wondered that our fears 
were not greater than they were. Happily the dawn¬ 
ing morn dis})elled them. 



As great uncertainty existed as to when the Gri- 
quas might return, it appeared proper that our wives 
and children should set otF with two wagons towards 
Griqua Town, and remain there till affairs were a 
little settled; this they did the following day, and 
in the evening Messrs. H. and M. returned, totally 
ignorant that danger was so near. They had not 
reached the spot where the battle was fought, having 
seen footmarks of many men who had apparently 
passed there that morning, which deterred them from 
proceeding farther. Thej^ ran many risks in ventur¬ 
ing both by night and day to places where they saw 
strangers, who might have been armed men, but who 
proved to be women, some of whom had found their 
way to a considerable distance south of Lithako. 
They found some literally feasting on the dead bodies 
of their companions. One night they crept within 
thirty yards of several groups of women, but the pos¬ 
sibility of men being there obliged them to return. 
They succeeded, however, in collecting about thirty 
women and children, whom they brought to the 
Kuruman. While we were yet conversing, I received 
a letter from Waterboer, informing us that it was im¬ 
possible for him to come to our assistance, having 
himself received intelligence that an immense body 
of Mantatees was coming down the Yellow and Mud 
Rivers towards Griqua Town, and that as some of the 
Griquas on the river had already taken flight, he was 
under the necessity of returning home, and advised 
us to lose no time in repairing thither, as the only 
place of safety. 

When we communicated our intention to the 
natives, they deeply regretted our leaving them, and 
Mothibi and several of his chiefs, with many women, 



came to express their concern, though they thought 
the step a reasonable one. 

Our families having proceeded the day before, 
and the people being unsettled, and scattered, and 
their most valuable property secreted, they were 
ready to flee at a moment’s warning. It was there¬ 
fore with the full consent of the chiefs that we 
left, although now it appeared we were fleeing into 
danger instead of from it; reports having arrived 
that the Mantatees had tied entirely, while at the 
same time it was rumoured that a horde was coming- 
do wn the Vaal River towards Griqua Town. Mr. 
Melvill and I proceeded on horseback, leaving Mr, 
Hamilton to follow with the Mantatee women and 

When Mr. Hamilton arrived at Tiose Fountain, two 
days’ journey south of our station on the Kuruman, 
a circumstance occurred which may be noticed, were 
it only to show what human beings are in certain si¬ 
tuations. Halting at the above place in the evening, 
a dead horse w^as found that had belonged to one of 
the Griquas, and which had been killed by the bite 
of a serpent. Next morning the women fell on the 
swollen and half putrid carcase, and began, like so 
many wolves, to tear it limb from limb, every one se¬ 
en rins: as much as she could for herself. Mr. Hamil- 


ton, who looked on with utter amazement, advised them 
to avoid the part where the animal had been bitten. 
To bis friendly warning they paid no attention what¬ 
ever ; in the space of about an hour a total dissection 
was effected, and every particle of skin, meat, bone, 
the entrails, and their contents, were carried off*. Mr. 
H. was obliged to remain the whole day, finding it 



absolutely impossible to induce them to leave the 
spot till every particle was devoured, and in the even¬ 
ing they actually danced and sang with joy ! This 
will appear the more astonishing, as the women were 
allowed a regular supply of rations ; but when people 
have fasted for a year they require quantities of 
food, which, if mentioned, would appear incredible, 
and a long period elapses before the stomach regains 
its wonted tone. It would only excite disgust were 
the writer to describe sights of this kind which he 
has been compelled to witness. On Mr. H.’s ar¬ 
rival at Griqua Town, we had the mortification to 
hear that the Bechuanas had actually dug up and 
stolen many of the articles we had buried, in the 
prospect of our being driven away by the Mantatees, 
and that our houses had been broken into and ran¬ 
sacked, notwithstanding Mothibi’s endeavours to pre¬ 
vent what now appeared to him and his chiefs great 
ingratitude. He gave orders to the man we left be¬ 
hind to take care to shoot the first depredator; but we 
felt comfortable, fully assured that he would do no 
such thing. 

In the preceding sketchy I have glanced but very 
briefly at the varied scenes connected with the mourn¬ 
ful picture of that day. It would have been an 
easy matter to give more facts, but my mind still 
shrinks from farther details of feats of savage barba¬ 
rity, and lion-like ferocity, which I witnessed among 
the Mantatee warriors. No less furious and revenge¬ 
ful was the spirit manifested by the Batlapi and other 
tribes, who though the most accomplished cowards, 
compared with the invaders, showed that they were, 
if less inured to war, still as cruel as those who for 



years had been imbruing their bands in the blood of 
thousands. They baited the wounded enemy with 
their stones, clubs, and spears, accompanied with yell- 
ings and countenances indicative of fiendish joy. The 
hapless women found no quarter, especially if they 
possessed any thing like ornaments to tempt the cupi¬ 
dity of their plunderers. A few copper rings round 
the neck, from which it was difficult to take them, 
was the signal for the already uplifted battle-axe to 
sever the head from the trunk, or the arm from the 
body, when the plunderer would grasp with a smile 
the bleeding trophies. Others, in order to he able to 
return home with the triumph of victors, would pur¬ 
sue the screaming hoy or girl, and not satisfied with 
severing a limb from the human frame, would exhibit 
their contempt for the victims of their cruel revenge, 
by seizing'the head and hurling it from them, or 
kicking it to a distance. 

The women evinced the most entire indifterence to 
the objects of terror by which they were surrounded ; 
though still mothers clung to their infants, whose 
piteous cries were sufficient to melt a heart of stone. 
With all their conquests and the many thousands of 
cattle which they must have captured, they were 
dying from hunger. Their march for hundreds of 
miles might have been traced by human bones. Not 
having seen horsemen before, they imagined horse 
and rider constituted only one animal; hut this, as 
we afterwards heard, did not intimidate them, for 
their determination was fixed on attacking the Co¬ 
lony, having heard that there were immense flocks of 
sheep there. Had they succeeded in reaching the 
Granite river, or the borders of the Colonv, where 



they would most probably have been defeated, the 
destruction of human life would have been even 
more dreadful, as they must have perished from 
want, when retreating through exasperated thousands 
of the tribes they had vanquished, towards their own 
country. Some of the Bechuanas were so sensible of 
this, that they secretly wished that it might be so, in 
order that they might satiate their vengeance on a 
conquered foe. 

Taking a review of these melancholy scenes, we 
cannot help shuddering at the dreadful effects of sin. 
What a train of miseries mark the chequered scenes 
of man’s short life ; and how peculiarly appalling is 
the state of degradation to which that part of man¬ 
kind is reduced, who inhabit the interior of Africa ! 
Imagining that annihilation is the common lot of 
man, the world is their god; to acquire the few fleet¬ 
ing and sensual enjoyments it affords, they will en¬ 
dure any hardship, break through any tie, and with 
brutal enthusiasm tear the yet palpitating heart from 
the breast of their fallen enemy. Surely these facts 
are calculated to draw forth our compassion towards 
them. What a call for missionary exertions! for 
nothing but the word of inspiration can lead them 
from “ these doleful shades of heathenish gloom.” 

It may not be inappropriate here to introduce the 
following reflections, from the pens of other writers, 
who had an opportunity of perusing the whole of the 
author’s journals relative to this affair. After making 
some extracts from my communications to the Direc¬ 
tors, the editor of the Missionary Transactions writes: 

“ We cannot dismiss the above appalling details without making 



one or two observations. In the first place, tlie dreadful exhibition 
they present of the ferocious cruelty and base degradation to which 
the human race may be reduced, when destitute of the advantages 
of Christianity and civilization, affords a powerful argument for the 
prosecution of missionary undertakings, indepeiulently of all consi¬ 
derations relating to a future state. Our second observation is, that 
Christian missionaries are often instrumental in conferring important 
incidental benefits on the countries and vicinities wdiere they labour. 
In the present case, a missionary was the person who ascertained 
the approach of the invading tribes in time to procure help from 
Oriqua Town ; and it was at his call that the Griquas gave their 
assistance. Had it been merely a message from a Bechuana chief, 
it is doubtful whether the Griquas would have moved uirtil the 
enemy had approached their own borders. Again, had not the 
Griquas been previously brought into a conq^aratively civilized state 
bv the influence of the missionaries who have resided among them, 
they would not have been in a condition to have resisted the enemy. 
This resistance was effectual, and appears, under Providence, to 
have saved the towm of New Lithako from the fate of Kurreechane, 
and the Bechuanas who inhabit it, whom, as we have seen, the in¬ 
vaders regarded as dust under their feet, from destruction. Nor is 
it at all improbable that the Colony is itself indebted, under Provi¬ 
dence, to the same causes for the preveiition of an extensive preda¬ 
tory inroad on its territory, by the invading tribes.” 

On the same subject, the Rev. Dr. Philip, in a 
letter to Mr. Campbell, writes : 

“ In reading over Mr. Moffat’s journal, we cannot help noticing 
with gratitude, the hand of God in all the circumstances connected 
with the deliverance of our missionary friends and the people of 
Lithtiko. Had Mr. Ttl. not undertaken the journey he proposed, he 
might have remained ignorant of the approach of the enemy; or 
had ho gone forward on his journey without hearing of them, as he 
might have done in that country, Lithako must have fallen, and he 
himself, and the mission families, might have been involved in the 
same destruction ; and had he been spared to return Irom his visit 
to IMakaba, one cannot contemplate him, even in imagination, 
standing on the ruins of Lithako, and treading on the ashes of his 

2 B 2 



murdered wife and children, without shuddering with horror ! But 
the circumstances which indicate an invisible arm in the preserva¬ 
tion of our friends, do not stop here. Had he delayed his journey, 
or had he deferred calling in tlie Griquas, whatever escape might 
have been provided for him and our other missionary friends, Mo- 
thibi and his people would have been ruined. The influence of the 
missionaries upon them wmuld in all probability have been lost, and 
their circumstances might have been rendered so desperate, as to 
jmeclude all hope of being of any service to them in future.” 

Ill taking leave of these appalling recitals, it only 
remains to be noticed, that the Maiitatees, after finally 
leaving the country, separated into two divisions. 
The one proceeded eastward, towards the Bakdne 
country, while the other proceeded to that of the 
Basuto, from the eastern parts of which they had 
emigrated, or rather been driven, by the destructive 
inroads of the Zoolu, Matahele, and other tribes. Like 
many other pastoral people, when robbed of their 
cattle, they have nothing left; and thus must either 
perish or rob others ; and from being wild men they 
become more like wild beasts. Oppression and hunger 
make a wise man mad in any country ; and when we 
follow the Mantatees in their long campaign of active 
warfare and bloodshed, we cease to wonder that habit 
rendered them fierce and fearless as the beasts of 
prey among which they roamed. It is a deeply 
interesting fact, that a missionary is now labouring 
with success among the latter, conquering them v/ith 
far other weapons than those which were found 
necessary to arrest their devastating career at Old 


Eemoval of tlie station proposed—Objections to the plan—The 
Author visits Cape Town—Surprise of tlie Bcchuana chiefs— 
Missionaries arrive—Return to the station — Journey to the 
Rauangketsi—-Vvander in the desert—The country and game— 
Natural wells—A Sabbath in the wilderness—Ignorance of the 
natives—jManner of catching game—Incidents at a pool—Great 
sufferings from thirst—A scene at the w’ater—Arrive at the Ba~ 
rolongs—Children offered for sale—Proceed to the Bauangketsi 
— Cattle seized—The party met by a son of Makaba—The rain¬ 
maker’s end—Reception at Kuakue. 

The events recorded in the preceding chapter were 
of so peculiar a character, and the circumstances 
under which they took j^lace so remarkable, that we 
were naturally led to anticipate a favourable change in 
the prospects of the mission. We had been but a short 
time at Griqua Town, when all reports of farther inva¬ 
sion from the interior died away, the enemy having 
taken another route ; and we accordingly retraced our 
steps to a spot now in some measure endeared to us. 
The people in general appeared to feel deeply sensible 
of the lively interest wdiich the missionaries had taken 
in their welfare, especially as they could not help 
seeing that it was not without much suffering and 
deprivation of comfort on our part. They could not 
but wonder that we remained in the country, when 



we might have escaped to the Colony with compara¬ 
tively little loss of property ; and they did not hesitate 
to say this to ourselves, with evident admiration of 
our conduct. We had long deplored the unsuitable 
character of the spot on which we lived for a mis¬ 
sionary station; and owing to the succession of dry 
seasons there was every prospect, from the dimi¬ 
nution of the fountain^ of its becoming still more 

All the buildings which had hitherto been raised 
were but temporary; and the prospect of being left on 
a sandy plain without even drinking-water, not only 
prevented our erecting comfortable abodes, but deter¬ 
mined us to embrace what appeared a favourable 
juncture for recommending a removal to a situation 
more eligible. A place eight miles distant, and about 
three miles below the Kuruman fountain, was exa¬ 
mined, and appeared, from the locality, its proximity 
to the source of the river, from which a very large 
supply of water issued, to be a better spot for a 
missionary station than any other for hundreds of 
miles round. When this situation was first proposed 
to the chiefs it was rejected, owing to the distance 
from trees and bushes of which to make their houses 
and fences. In a former chapter, the disposition 
and habits of the people in this respect have been ex¬ 
plained. The country around where we now lived 
had in its turn been denuded, and it was in vain that 
we tried to convince them that they could not expect 
every advantage in one locality. We found it of no 
avail to point out to them the manner in which some 
of the interior tribes built their fences and folds with 
stone, and of which they had numerous examples 



before their eves at Old Lithako, in the ruins of 
many cattle-folds and fences on the hills.* Rather 
than gather or quarry stones to raise a substantial 
fence, a man would take a forked stick, a thong, 
and his axe, and occupy nearly a whole day in bring¬ 
ing from a distance a bundle of the hook-thorn 
(acacia) to fill up a gap in his cattle or sheep fold. 
Mothihi told us we might go and settle at 8euH 
(the island), the native name for the place, be¬ 
ing in the middle of an extensive valley of reeds, 
covered with water, because we should he a protection 
to his cattle from the Bushmen, who v/ere trouble¬ 
some in that quarter. 

As I had contemplated a journey to Cape Town, in 
order to obtain supplies, as well as on account of 
Mrs. M.'s health, which had suffered considerably, 
IMr. Hamilton and I were anxious to settle the sub¬ 
ject of removal with the natives before I went, that 
the necessary preparations for so important a mea¬ 
sure might he made while at Cape Town. At our 
request Mothihi, two or three of his chiefs, with Peclu, 
his son and heir-apparent, accompanied us to the 
spot. After examination, it was agreed that about 

* From these fences or walls, which, however, exhibit nothing 
like what is understood by masoury, but only stone dykes, the place 
derives its name, Lorako, a wall (of defence), Lithako (walls). 
They are supposed to have been built in the days of Tlou, the 
greatest of the Barolotig kings, whose power extended from the 
Bahurutsian mountains to the Hamhana hills, a distance of two 
hundred miles. The Batlapis were tlien an insignificant tribe, which 
rose to renown and influence, and threw off the yoke of one of the 
sons of Tlou, whose kingdom had been divided among his sons ; and, 
owing to their wars and contentions for supremacy, the Barolong 
nation dwindled to a tribe, now scattered in various sections. 


two miles of the valley, from the ford downward, 
should henceforth be the property of the London 
Missionary Society, and that for the same a remune¬ 
ration should be given on my return from Cape Town. 
Having completed these arrangements, I proceeded 
thither with my family in October, 1823, leaving Mr. 
Hamilton alone on the station. As Motbibi was 
anxious that his son should see the country of the 
white people, lie sent him with us, and appointed 
Taisho, one of his principal chiefs, to accompany him. 
The kind reception they met with from his Excellency 
the Governor, and the friends in Cape Town, and the 
sights they saw, produced strange emotions in their 
minds. They were delighted with every thing they 
beheld, and were in raptures when they met again 
their old friend, George Thompson, Esq., who showed 
them no little kindness. It was ivith some difficulty 
that they were prevailed upon to go on board one of 
the ships in the bay; nor would they enter the boat 
till I had preceded them. They were perfectly as¬ 
tounded, when hoisted on deck, with the enormous 
size of the hull, and the height of the masts ; and 
when they saw a boy mount the rigging, and ascend 
to the very mast-head, they v/ere speechless with 
amazement. Taisho whispered to the 3 mung prince, 
‘'A ga si khatla?” Is it not an ape? When they 
entered the splendid cabin, and looked into the deep 
bold, they could scarcely be convinced that the vessel 
was not resting on the bottom of the ocean. ‘'Do 
these water houses (ships) un^mke like wagon-oxen 
every night ?” they inquired. “ Do they graze in the 
sea to keep them alive ?” A ship in full sail ap¬ 
proaching the roads, they were asked what they 


thought of that. ‘‘We have no thonghts here ; we 
liope to think again when we get to the shore,” was 
tlieir reply. They would go anywhere with me or 
INIr. Thompson, for whom they entertained a kindly 
feeling, but they would trust no one else. 

On the very day we reached Cape Town, the Nepos 
arrived, bringing Messrs. Robson, Edwards, and 
Hughes, three additional labourers for our mission. 
This was a highly interesting season to us, who had 
lately been so greatly tried and perplexed. 

We were also encouraged to hope that the visit 
of the young prince and Taisho ^YOuld produce a 
salutary impression on their countrymen on their 
return, and at least convince them that the mission¬ 
aries had friends, and w^ere not obliged to live a life 
of self-denial among the Bechuanas because they 
vrere not allowed to dw^ell elsewdiere, Mr. Robson, 
who began very early to feel the effects of a w^arm 
climate, w^as, after taking medical advice, induced 
to remain, at least for a season, at one of our colonial 
stations, and accordingly went to Bethelsdorp, where 
he laboured for some time, and has since been most 
successfully engaged as a missionary at Port Eliza¬ 
beth. Mr. Edw-ards was detained for the purpose 
of improving the temporal affairs, and superintending 
the erection of new buildings at some of our colonial 

With Mrs. M.’s health somewdiat improved, we 
left Cape Towm, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Hughes, 
and, after enduring for twm months the tedium and 
monotony of an African journey, w^e reached tlie 
station in May, 1824 ; having left our companions 
to remain for a season at Griqua Towm, Mrs. H.’s 



situation rendering it improper for her to travel. Our 
return, which had been expected with much interest, 
and some anxiety, hy the parents of the young prince, 
was hailed with all the grotesque expressions of ex¬ 
travagant delight. During our absence Mr. Hamilton 
had continued his quiet and apparently fruitless la¬ 
bours^ but with the consolation that the natives had 
been much kinder than they were wont to be. Soon 
after our departure he had suffered the loss of his 
dwelling-house by hre, when almost all that was 
valuable to him was destroyed, as well as many of 
the Society’s tools. The visit to the Cape appeared 
to give great satisfaction to all parties. The original 
engagement for the land on which to establish our 
new station was ratified. The spot on which the 
first houses ever built there were to stand was sur¬ 
veyed, and the course of the water-ditch, or canal, 
marked out. As we had been led to expect labourers 
from the Colony to assist in carrying on the public 
work, the preliminaries only of removal could be 
attended to; and as Mr. Hughes was to join the 
mission after a time, it was judged proper that I 
should in the interim fulfil my promise to Makaha, 
king of the Bauangketsi, for which we had heard 
that he was very anxious, having been informed of 
my former attempt to do so. 

I left on the 1st of July, accompanied by some 
Griquas, who were going part of the way with a 
view to hunt elephants. After travelling three days, 
over a comparatively sandy plain, studded with 
clumps of acacias, we reached the Mashaua, or Old 
Lithako River, where we obtained water by digging 
in its bed. Here we were joined by another party. 



under the chief Berend Berend. Leaving this spot, 
where the draught oxen, which were numerous, ob¬ 
tained a very scanty supply of water, we proceeded 
in a northerly direction, over another sandy plain, 
on which large acacia trees were thinly scattered. 
At sunset our Bechuana guides, according to custom, 
halted for the night; hut as the water was distant, 
our party was anxious to proceed in the cool of the 
night, for the sake of the oxen. Our guides assured 
us that we should lose our way ; but the majority 
was resolved to follow what appeared to be the direct 
course, for road there was none. While the owners 
of the long string of wagons were proceeding, trusting 
to the first team, they, as is very common, laid 
themselves down on their stretchers, and slept. The 
wagon-drivers also began to get very drowsy; and 
after some hours’ riding, I could plainly discover 
from the stars that we were diverging to the left, 
and gave information to the leading wagon-drivers, 
but was assured they were right, while I was equally 
sure they were wrong. About two o’clock a. m. we 
halted. The principal individuals of the party having 
dozed a little, arose and surrounded the kindled fires, 
which were now acceptable, though the day had been 
exceedingly hot. While preparing a cup of coffee, 
I took* out my compass, to assure the party that for 
more than two hours we had been travelling towards 
the Mashaua, from whence we had come. The more 
sa 2 :acious looked for some time at the little instru- 
ment, and then, looking around and upwards to the 
stars, pronounced it to be an impostor. Others re¬ 
marked, that it might know the right way in its 
own country, but how was it to find it out there? 



While eating a morsel of food, for which we had an 
nncommon relish, the waning moon began to diffuse 
a pale lustre on the eastern horizon. “ What a fire !” 
said one. ‘‘It is the moon,” I replied. All, start¬ 
ing to their feet, exclaimed, “ The moon cannot 
rise on that side of the worldand Antonie, a 
venerable old man, who had been once a slave, said, 
very respectfully, “Sir, your head has turned; the 
moon never rose in the west in my life, and I am 
an old man.” “ It is the moon,” I again said; but 
no one believed me, and we resumed our repast. 
Presently the moon’s horn was seen above the hori¬ 
zon, when all rose again, some saying, “ AYhat is 
that ?” I had no further need to argue the point. 
Antonie, in grave amazement, exclaimed, “The moon 
has for once risen on the wrong side of the world!” 
Soon after the sun’s rays threw additional light on 
their bewildered imaginations, and showed to all that 
for half the night, we had been travelling towards 
the station of the former day, instead of from it. 
But, what was still worse, it was discovered that 
nearly all our draught oxen had left us, and returned 
to the water we had quitted. ITorses were despatched 
to bring them back, and in the evening they all re¬ 
turned, were immediately inyoked, and at a late hour 
we reached water, where we found some of our 
guides, who laughed most hemtily at our self-conceit 
about seeing in the dark. Here we halted for a 
couple of days, to refresh our oxen, while our hunters 
brought us in plenty of the flesh of the rhinoceros 
and buffalo. We then proceeded over a country of 
lime-stone, covered with the hook-thorn acacia, and 
halted again at Kongke, where we spent the Sabbath, 



on which we rested,—according to a previous agree¬ 
ment with the Gri(}uas, that there should be neither 
hunting nor travelling on that day,—and enjoyed the 
usual services. Here also I had an opportunity of 
addressing the natives, who congregated around us, 
in a country which at first appeared to be without 
an inhabitant. A party of Bechuanas, who had ac¬ 
companied us thus far, now proceeded north-west, 
towards tlie Kalagare, and we journeyed towards the 

The countrv became rather more interestins:, heins: 

fc/ O 

interspersed by hills of lime-stone, covered with trees 
and shrubs, with an abundance of game, some of 
which must travel at least twenty miles to obtain 
water. I found, however, that many of the antelope 
kind could remain two davs without water, while rhi- 
noceroses and quaggas were in the habit of frequent¬ 
ing it daily. Some of the company killed two ele¬ 
phants during the day, and we were compelled to 
bivouac in a plain without water, as it was dangerous 
to proceed, owing to the number of lions, whose roar 
we heard in the distance. Next day we proceeded in 
a more northerly direction over an undulating country, 
covered with a considerable quantity of timber, but 
of the poorest quality. We halted at two natural 
wells of rather an extraordinary description, an iron 
schist formation, about 100 yards from each other. 
One is about sixteen feet deep, with four feet of water ; 
they are both nearly pei’pendicular, and about two 
feet and a half in diameter. The hill in which they 
are is composed of a conglomerate mass of iron 
schist, and near the mouth, as well as in the sides of 
these holes, are appearances as if the whole had once 



been in a state of fusion, and that these were the aper¬ 
tures of some internal tires, but nothing like lava ap¬ 
pears in the neighbourhood. From the older natives, 
who had resided near these wells all their lives, I 
learned that they were once much deeper. The water 
was excellent, and to obtain sufficient for ourselves and 
horses, we fastened a vessel to the end of a rope ; the 
oxen we sent to a water at a distance, called Khuari. 
Two elephants were shot; this was glorious news for 
the poor Bechuanas, or Sauneys, who instantly resorted 
to the carcases, and with their wretched knives and 
spears soon dissected the ponderous animals. Miser¬ 
able indeed is the condition of these poor people, to 
whom reference has already been made in the first 
chapter, where the reader will see a parallel drawn 
hetween them and the Bushmen, who have decidedlv 
the advantage. The latter are independent, and can 
give or withhold their services to the neighbouring 
tribes at pleasure. Their sufferings beyond the com¬ 
mon lot of homeless tribes, arise from their stealing 
cattle, which renders them obnoxious to their richer 
neighbours. All that they procure in the chase, 
even the daintiest of the game, is their own. Not 
so with the poor Bechuanas. If any of the people 
from the towns fall in with them, they are in the most 
peremptory manner ordered to perform every service, 
however galling. Of this I had frequent opportuni¬ 
ties of convincing myself during the present journey. 
They are generally spoken of in the same manner as 
pack-oxen, or beasts of burden, being employed for 
that purpose. While we were here a Mochuana met 
some of these people carrying meat which they had 
procured at a great distance, and were taking to their 



families, when he ordered them to take every ounce 
of it to his own abode. If the wounded game happens 
to lall at a place remote from water, these people are 
collected, especially the females, and compelled to 
carry the meat perhaps a distance of thirty miles ; and 
to prevent their elopement, when their services are 
required the following day, they are sometimes hedged 
into a fold made of hook-thorn hushes, precisely like 
so many sheep, and there they must pass the night. 
Many of the poor women came to the water, particu¬ 
larly when they found there was a stranger there who 
took their part. The Bechuanas who were travelling 
with us to the Barolongs, did not object to my inter¬ 
ference on their behalf, and only laughed at my fool¬ 
ishness in making such “lincha,” dogs, the objects of 
my sympathy. They, like the natives in general, live at 
a distance from water, which they visit at most once a 
day. As they never wash themselves, little of that pre¬ 
cious beverage serves. Their vessels consist of sacks 
made from skins, or the entrails and paunches of ani¬ 
mals. They use also ostrich eggs corked with grass, for 
the same purpose, of which a woman can carry thirty. 

Here we spent a quiet, and I believe a protit- 
able Sabbath. There were membei's of the church 
at Griqua Town in our party, who often proved 
interesting society in a desert. I conversed some 
time with the poor, ignorant Sauneys ; they appeared 
lively and interesting, esj^ecially when they had eaten 
plenty of meat, of which there was, on that occasion, 
no lack. 1 made many inquiries to discover if they 
had any sense of moral evil; it was with great dif¬ 
ficulty I could convey to their understanding what 
I meant to say. They assured me again and again. 



that they could not comprehend that there was evil 
in any thing they could do. The term holeo (sin) 
did not convey to them the same meaning it does 
to us ; they applied it to a weapon, or any thing else 
which they thought was not made as they wished. 
Thus, v/hat we should call an imperfect knife or 
arrow, they would call a sinful arrow. But of a sense 
of sin arising from responsibility, they had no con¬ 
ception ; they did not even seem to think that the 
conduct of those who tyrannized over them veas 
wicked, but merely that it had fallen to their lot 
to be so treated, or v/as a thing that happened, like 
a lion killing a man. When I directed their thoughts 
to a great Being in the heavens, some looked up with 
a vacant stare, as if they expected to see something 
appear. When I asked who made all things, they 
were only surprised that I should ask such a question. 
They wondered at our singing hymns, which ‘‘ these 
valleys and rocks never heard,” and inquired if they 
were war songs. My books puzzled them ; they asked 
if they were my “ Bola,” prognosticating dice. Hap¬ 
less beings, they drag out a miserable existence ! 

The principal part of the game they obtain is caught 
in pitfalls. I have seen some of these holes sixteen 
feet deep, where even a tall giraffe and ponderous 
rhinoceros are entrapped. Some of them are formed 
like a funnel, others are an oblong square, with sharp 
stakes fastened in the bottom : the earth taken out 
is generally scattered, and the opening covered over 
with sticks and grass. These pits are often dangerous 
to travellers and hunters, and lives are not unfre- 
quently lost, as they are generally formed in the 
footpaths of the game. 



The landscape was somewhat pleasing to tlie 
eye; many clumps of trees were scattered around, 
and on the plain to the north, between us and the 
Molapo river, appeared a forest, but the timber, 
chieflv acacia, was of small dimensions. On the dis- 
tant horizon, hills in the Eauangketsi country were 
seen^ apparently covered with timber, indicating a 
more fertile region. Lions abounded in this neigh¬ 
bourhood, but they did not disturb us, except by 
an occasional roar. Some of the horsemen having 
visited the Molapo, and found the bed of it dry, it 
was necessary to alter our course. One evening, 
we came to a pool of rain water, which was sur¬ 
rounded by fires, in order to prevent the game from 
approaching. This was to us a most providential 
supply, as there was no water for two days after 
leaving this. The few natives who visited us, finding 
tliat we were very friendly, brought the whole village 
to our encampment; and as we had plenty of meat, 
they were, to their no small surprise, liberally sup¬ 
plied and rewarded for allowing our cattle to drink 
at their guarded pool. The soup in which our meat 
was cooked, and which contained an ample share of 
mud, was swallowed with avidity : a dozen wmuld 
surround a pot, and having no spoons, and not al¬ 
lowing time for the soup to cool, they used the right 
hand to take out a little, threw it quickly into the 
hollow of the left, thence into the mouth, and after¬ 
wards licked both, that nothing might be lost. The 
following day, we travelled over a dry and sandy 
})lain, and halted wdthout water. Early next day we 
resumed our journey, and it was distressing to see 
the sufferings of the poor cattle from thirst, running 

2 c 



into the shadow of a tree or bush, from which it 
was difficult to remove them. We at last descended 
into the bed of the Molapo, but it was as dry as 
the neighbouring plains. We proceeded eastward 
along the bed of the river, but could not meet with 
an individual to give us information as to where we 
might find water. The valley becoming rocky, we 
were compelled to lead out our wagons to the open 
country. We had scarcely done this, when two lions 
passed along the spot we had left, roaring furiously. 
After some miles’ jogging over a rough, bushy country, 
we descended again into the river’s bed, where it was 
discovered the reeds were on hre. Nearly the whole 
party ran, expecting water, but found none. Men 
and cattle being worn out, we halted for the night, 
every one feeling as if this night was to be his last. 
Two very hot days’ travelling over a dusty plain, 
with a dry and parching wind, had reduced mind and 
body to a state of great exhaustion. A camp of 
eleven wagons, upwards of one hundred and tii’ty 
oxen, and nearly a hundred human beings, generally 
make a terrible uproar, especially when there is plenty 
of meat; ours was silent as the desct’t around, inter¬ 
rupted only by an occasional groan from the wearied, 
worn-out cattle. 

Thirst aroused us at an early hour, and examining 
the footmarks, we found that the horsemen who had 
left us on the previous day in search of water, had 
passed eastward. Before we had proceeded far, a 
buffalo was discovered in a thicket of reeds. The 
men, seizing their guns, fired upon him, but as he 
concealed himself in the middle of the reeds, it was 
difficult to reach him. I entreated the men to desist, 



as from the character of the buffalo when wounded 
an accident appeared to be inevitable; however, they 
persisted, saying, “ If we cannot get water, we must 
have raw Hesli.” In order to dislodge the animal, 
they set tire to the reeds, wdien the enraged buffalo 
rushed out through the tire and smoke ; and though 
his gait seemed as awkward and heavy as that of 
a great pig, he instantly overtook one of the men, 
who escaped with merely being thrown down, 
slightly wounded, and having his jacket torn open. 
Had not the dogs at the same moment seized the 
animal from behind, the man would have been killed 
on the spot. The buffalo returned to the flaming 
reeds, from which he would not move, but was shot 
after his skin wns literally roasted in the fire. About 
noon we came unexpectedly to the stream, into which 
men, oxen, horses, and sheep rushed promiscuously, 
presenting a scene of the most ludicrous description. 
One man is pushed down by an ox, pleased with the 
refreshing coolness of the water ; another, in his haste, 
tumbles headforemost over the bank, followed by 
a sheep or a goat. One crawls between the legs of 
oxen, another tries to force himself in between their 
bodies. One shouts that a horse is trampling upon 
him, and another that he is fast in the mud. But 
wliile all this was going on, there was no disposition 
for merriment, till every one was satisfied and with¬ 
drew from the water ; when wet, muddy-looking spec¬ 
tacles presented themselves, which would have caused 
even gravity itself to laugh. While the meat was 
prc})aring over the fire, a quaff of the tobacco pipe 
unloosed every tongue, and made all eloquent on the 
liardshi})s of the past. Correctly to conceive of such 

2 c 2 



a scene, it is necessary to have witnessed it. Here we 
refreshed ourselves with a day’s rest, and on the fol¬ 
lowing arrived at Pitsan, the principal town of the 
Barolong tribe, who lived formerly, when visited by 
Mr. Campbell, at Kunuana or Mosheu, three days’ 
journey to the south. 

Tauane, the highest chief, made his appearance, 
amidst a noisy multitude; he saluted us in the Eng¬ 
lish manner, by giving the right hand, saying, as well 
as he could pronounce it, “ Good morning.” Many 
were the good mornings they wished us, though the 
sun had long set. On the following day the principal 
men met us, with whom we conferred on the object 
of my journey, while the Griquas informed them of 
their plan to shoot elephants in the neighbourhood. 
Tauane, a weak, imbecile looking man, tried, as is 
usual among the African tribes, to dissuade me from 
attempting to visit so notorious a character, at the 
same time prophesying my destruction. This town, 
which covered a large space, and included a numerous 
division of Bahurutsi, and another of the Bauangketsi, 
contained upwards of twenty thousand inhabitants, all 
of whom had congregated here after the attack of the 
Mantatees. During my absence at Cape Town, Mr. 
Hamilton had visited them, to whom many listened 
with great attention, and as it had rained very heavily 
during his visit, he was viewed in the very imposing 
light of a rain-maker, they having requested him to 
pray for rain, which he did. They were not back¬ 
ward in reminding me of this fact; but on inquiring 
what he had taught them, I found their memories 
were less tenacious. 

Anxious to make the best use of the time, espe- 



cially of the sabbath, I first held divine service in the 
Dutch language, for the Griquas ; but the noise of 
the multitude which had congregated, obliged us to 
desist. I then attempted at two different parts of the 
town to address the people through an interpreter, 
and by the influence of the chiefs obtained a hearing. 
I conversed with the principal men on the subject of 
a missionary settling among them. One said, “You 
must come and make rainand another, “You 
must come and protect us.” Of course I gave them 
to understand that the object of the missionary was 
neither to make rain, nor to protect them, and re¬ 
ferred to our mission at the Kuruman, of which some 
had a perfect knowledge. Multitudes, who appeared 
to have nothing to do, crowded around us from 
morning till night. The town was under the go¬ 
vernment of three chiefs, Tauane, Gontse, and Inche. 
The first was considered the most powerful, though 
Gontse had the greatest number of Barolongs under 
his authority. The last was brother to Khosi, whom 
Mr. Campbell describes, but who, from his want of 
energy, was deposed. As in all other towns, there 
were sections composed of the inhabitants of other 
tribes, who congregate under chiefs of their own, and 
retain the name and peculiarities which distinguish 
their nations. Thus there was a considerable suburb 
of Bauangketsi, under the chief Moromolo, who was 
a man of sound judgment and commanding mien. 
Wooden bowls, spoons, and ornaments in abundance, 
were brought to exchange for commodities which 
we possessed ; among others, two elderly men came 
and presented their children for sale; a sheep was 
expected for one, and a (juantity of beads for the 



other. I embraced the opportunity of pointing out 
to them, and to all present, how unnatural such con¬ 
duct was, and the direful consequences which must 
arise from such a course ; that a sheep would soon 
be eaten, and a few ornaments could avail little when 
compared with the assistance they might expect from 
their children ; how useful they might become to 
the tribe generally, and to themselves in particular, 
when age and weakness would make them thankful 
to have a friend, a relative, and particularly a child. 
They walked off, evidently disappointed, while those 
around, who were listening to what I said, professed 
their fullest conviction of the horrors to which such 
a system, if connived at, would lead. It is proper, at 
the same time, to remark, that slavery, in the general 
sense of the term, does not exist among the Bechu- 
anas. The feudal system prevails among the tribes. 
There are two grades, the rich, who are hereditary 
chiefs, and the poor. The latter continue in the 
same condition, and their lot is a comparatively easy 
kind of vassalage. Their lives are something like 
those of their dogs, hunger and idleness ; but they 
are the property of their respective chiefs, and their 
forefathers have, from time immemorial, been at the 
mercy of their lords. There are, however, few re¬ 
straints laid upon them, as they often leave for a 
more comfortable situation at a distance; but should 
they be brought into circumstances of danger, they 
flee to their former masters for protection. 

Tauane was extremely reluctant that we should 
proceed to the Bauangketsi. He had introduced to 
me one of Makaba’s wives, who had fled with her 
two sons, one of whom was afterwards, like Absalom, 



slain bv the warriors of his father for treason. The 

mother of this enterprising character was a fine look¬ 
ing, matronly woman. After having satisfied myself 
about the propriety of proceeding, I resolved on leav¬ 
ing with my small party, expecting that the hunters 
would take another course, as they had their fears 
that what everybody said aboutMakaba must be true. 
However, all inyoked their oxen at the same time, and 
the cavalcade began to move towards the Bauangketsi 
country. We halted at night near a large pool, with 
the pleasing prospect of spending a tranquil sabbath, 
for we supposed we were still a great way from the 
Bauangketsi cattle out-posts. Having travelled far, 
our oxen being unusually fatigued, they were left un¬ 
guarded, or not made fast with thongs to the wagons, 
which is frequently done in a strange country, and 
where lions abound. After our usual evening service, 
we all retired, every one in good spirits, having some¬ 
what recovered from the frightful Barolong stories 
about the great man to whom we were going, and 
whose beer we were told we should have to drink out 
of human skulls. In the luorning it was discovered 
that nearly fifty of our oxen had strayed during the 
night: we met for service in the forenoon, expecting 
that the men who were sent in search of them would 
soon return. About mid-day they made their appear¬ 
ance, with the somewhat startling intelligence that the 
cattle had fallen into the hands of Makaba’s out-post 
keepers, who, not knowing whose they were, had 
seized them, and killed one. This information pro¬ 
duced not only murmuring, but much fear in our 
camp ; and many were tlie speculations to which it 
gave rise ; some were contemplating a hasty flight, 



thus rendering the sabbath less profitable than I had 
anticipated. However, our minds were somewhat 
relieved, for in the evening two men brought six of 
the oxen, together with the meat of the one slaugh¬ 
tered, stating that the rest were separated, and sent 
to the different out-posts, but that they should all be 
restored. The men very earnestly begged us to in¬ 
tercede for them with Makaba, who, they said, would 
most certainly take their lives for the ox they had 
slaughtered. We assured them of our interference 
on their behalf. The Griquas were thus, from a kind 
of necessity, induced to proceed to head quarters. 

Having still eight oxen for each wagon, we re¬ 
solved on proceeding. We had not gone far before 
we were met by Maroga, or Marocha, one of Makaba’s 
sons, at the head of a number of men. He presented 
me with some milk, and addressed us as follows :— 
‘‘ I am terrified at your presence, because of the 
injury we have done you. We should ail have fled, 
but we knew you were men of peace. Your oxen 
will be restored, not one shall be lost. I have or¬ 
dered the men to the town who killed the ox. They 
shall be torn in pieces before your eyes. Makaba, 
my father, will not pardon them, for he has long 
expected you as his friends. The road to the town 
is far, it is without water ; remain, and drink of my 
pool, and to-morrow I will take you to the house of 
my father.” With his proposal that we should re¬ 
main during the night, I refused to comply. Upon 
this he immediately presented me with an ox ; but I 
still refused, on the ground that his father might in 
the meanwhile kill the men referred to, which would 
exceedingly grieve us, and prevent our revisiting his 

THE rain-maker’s end. 


country. Maroga at last acquiesced, and at my re- 
([uest rode with his wife in my wagon, which was 
matter of no small diversion to them ; riding of any 
kind, even on oxen, being never practised either hy 
the Bauangketsi or Barolongs. At eight, p. m. we 
halted at a place without water, when Maroga and 
his company viewed our water-barrels, and the abun¬ 
dant provision we had made of that element, with 
astonishment. The wife of Maroga was formerly 
wife of the Bahurutsi rain-maker, who left Lithako 
in 1822. It appears from her account that Makaba 
had invited him to the capital, and, after the store¬ 
houses were filled with corn, the supposed result of 
the rain-maker’s pretended skill, charged him with 
having bewitched his child, who was sick; and laying 
hands on the impostor, killed him, and gave his wife 
to his own son. This was her own story; but the fact 
was, that Maroga, one day sitting by his father, ob¬ 
served the rain-maker’s wife, who was a fine-looking 
woman, and remarked that she was much too pretty 
for such a man. Her husband was speared by Ma- 
kaba’s orders, and the woman given to his son. She 
seemed still to feel grateful for the kindness shown to 
her at our station, and referred to my interference on 
behalf of her late husband. 

Next day, before we had proceeded far, we were 
met by messengers from Makaha, who said he had 
not slept for joy, because of our approach. We 
passed a number of women, employed in their gar¬ 
dens, who, on seeing us, threw down their picks, 
and running to the wagons, lifted up their hands, 
exclaiming, “ Ilumela,” (their manner of saluta¬ 
tion,) which was followed hv shrill cries sufficient 

* / j 



to affright the very oxen. As the wagons were 
obliged to take a circuitous road over the hill to 
the town, we saddled our horses to cross by the 
nearest way; on reaching the summit of the hill, 
at the foot of which lay the metropolis of the 
Bauangketsi, turning our eyes northward, we were 
greatly surprised on beholding the number of towns 
which lay scattered in the valleys. Oar guide con¬ 
ducted us through a winding street to the habitation 
of Makaba, who stood at the door of one of his 
houses, and welcomed us to the town in the usual 
way. He seemed astonished and pleased to see us 
all without arms, remarking, with a hearty laugh, 
that he wondered we should trust ourselves, unarmed, 
in the town of such a villain as he was reported to 
be. In a few minutes a multitude gathered, who 
actually trode on each other in their eagerness to see 
the strangers and their horses. Meanwhile Makaba 
walked into a house, and sent us out a large jar, or 
pot of beer, with calabashes, in the form of ladles. 
Being thirsty, we partook very heartily of the beer, 
which possessed but little of an intoxicating quality. 

By this time our wagons had reached the town, and 
as Makaba had expressed his desire that we should 
conduct them through the principal street, I went 
forward to examine the narrow winding path, through 
a multitude of houses, and pronounced the thing 
impossible, without seriously injuring the fences. 

Never mind that,” said Makaba, “ only let me see 
the wagons go through my townand on they went, 
while the chieftain stood on an eminence before his 
door, looking with inexpressible delight on the wagons, 
which were breaking down corners of fences, while the 



good wives within were so much amazed at the oxen, 
and what appeared to them ponderous vehicles, that 
they hardly found time to scold, though a few did not 
fail to express their displeasure. Having reached the 
lower end of the town, we unyoked, and were in¬ 
stantly surrounded by several thousands of people, 
all making their remarks on the novel scene, which 
produced a noise almost deafening; nor did they 
retire till night came on. In the course of the after¬ 
noon, Maroga, accompanied by three chief men, came 
with orders from his father to appoint them as repre¬ 
sentatives, which was done in our presence in the 
most authoritative manner; when they were com¬ 
manded to abide by our wagons from sunrise till we 
retired to rest, and to redress every grievance. They 
were likewise made responsible for every article 
which might be either lost or stolen. About sunset, 
Makaba sent one of his waves, stating, that the only 
mark of respect which he could at present show, was 
to send his most beloved wife, who would deliver to 
us a sack full of thick milk, and that to-morrow^ he 
would provide us with slaughter oxen. The sack 
was so large that it w^as borne by two men to the 
wagons. The lekuka, or Bechuana milk sack, will be 
described in another part of this work. 


The natives and the compass, etc.—Makaba’s visit to the wagons 
—Description of the town—Character of Makaba—Bold hyenas 
—Conversation with Makaba—An attempt at instruction—Ma¬ 
kaba’s astonishment at the doctrine of a resurrection—Great ex¬ 
citement—Tsusane’s rebellion—His visit to the Kuruman—A 
stratagem—Tsusane’s affecting end—Unfounded alarms—Pre¬ 
parations for defence—Precipitate departure—The author’s last 
interview—Return to the Barolongs—Threatened attack on Pit- 
sana—A man escapes—His tale—A frightful savage—Dangerous 
position—Wagons attacked—A battle—A heathenish scene— 
Christian conduct—An explosion—Divine interposition—Affairs 
at the station—A midnight alarm—Concluding remarks. 

Having thus reached the metropolis of the Bauang- 
ketsi, and having cast our eyes over a dense popu¬ 
lation, we were in some measure prepared for the 
din of many thousands of voices on the coming day. 
We were not mistaken, for, early next morning, and 
long before we were out of bed, we were surrounded 
by crowds, so that it was with difficulty we could 
pass from one wagon to another. On going up the 
hill to have a view of the neighbouring country, I 
was followed by a number of men, who, while I was 
taking some bearings, wxre not a little surprised at 
the compass, which they regarded as an instrument 
certainly belonging to a sorcerer, though they laughed 
when I asked them if they thought that I was one. 

makaba’s visit to the wagons. 


About ten o’clock, a.m., Makaba made his appear¬ 
ance, with his retinue, and sat down opposite to my 
wagon. The hustling crowd retired to a distance, and 
a dead silence ensued. He addressed us nearly as fol¬ 
lows ;—“ My friends, I am perfectly happy ; my heart 
is whiter than milk, because you have visited me. To¬ 
day I am a great man. Men will now say, ‘ Makaba 
is in league with white people.’ I know that all men 
speak evil of me. They seek my hurt. It is because 
they cannot conquer me that I am hated. If they do 
me evil, I can reward them twofold. They are like 
children that quarrel ; what the weaker cannot do by 
strength, he supplies with evil names. You are come 
to see the villain Makaba ; you are come^ as the 
Batlapis say, ‘ to die by my hands.’ You are wise 
and bold to come and see with your eyes, and laugh 
at the testimony of my enemies/’ etc. A long con¬ 
versation afterwards ensued respecting the state of 
the country, and the Mantatee invasion. On this 
topic he was eloquent, while describing the manner in 
which he entrapped many hundreds of the enemy by 
ambuscades ; and stretching forth his muscular arm 
in the direction of the field of conflict, he said, 
“ There lie the bleached bones of the enemy who 
came upon our hills like the locusts, but who melted 
before us by the shaking of the spear;” adding, with 
a stentorian voice, and with superlative self-com¬ 
placency, ‘‘Who is to be compared to Makaba, the 
son of Meleta, the man of conquest?” The listening 
multitude broke tbe silence in deafening applause. 
I then told him that the object of my present journey 
was to open a communication^ that we might consider 
him in future as one of our chief friends, and, as a 
pledge of that friendship, a missionary should come 



and reside with him ; to which he replied, In future 
I hope no grass will be allowed to grow on the 
road between the Kuruman and Kuakue. Mothibi, 
I know, will hinder you, because he is afraid of 
losing you; he is afraid that you will build your 
house with me.”* He stated that the strayed oxen 
would arrive that day; and, in compliance with our 
entreaties, he should pardon the men who killed the 
ox. I made him a present of beads and buttons, with 
a number of other trinkets, and also gave him a hat. 
One of the Griquas directed him to put it on his 
head, which he did, but immediately removed it to 
the head of another, saying that he could not see its 
beauty on his own. As most of the Griquas were 
come to barter, he informed them that on Friday he 
should commence. As soon as he departed, the noisy 
multitude did not allow us a moment’s leisure; and 
during the night we were annoyed by hyenas, of 
which there are three sorts, the striped, spotted, and 
another kind, which, though the smallest, is the most 

In the morning three oxen were sent for slaughter, 
and, in the course of the day, boiled corn, pottage, 
and beer. I visited the town, which is very large, 
but was not able to judge of the number of inhabit¬ 
ants : the town itself covered a vast extent, so that 
the population must have been great compared with 
that of the towns of South Africa generally. Each 
of Makaba’s wives, who were numerous, had a sepa¬ 
rate establishment, consisting of three or four houses, 
a corn-house, and a general storehouse. They had 
also a number of round jars for corn, from eight to 

* To build and to dwell are synonymous. 



twelve feet in diameter, and nearly the same in height, 
which are raised from the ground upon a circle of 
stones. Their premises and houses were on a plan 
rather different from what I had before seen. The 
houses, though not larger than those of the Batlapis, 
were built with a greater regard to taste and com¬ 
fort. The accuracy with which circles were formed, 
and perpendiculars raised, though guided only by the 
eye, was surprising. Their outer yards and house- 
floors were very clean, and smooth as paper. No 
dairy-maid in England could keep her wooden bowl 
cleaner and whiter than theirs were. In this respect 
they formed a perfect contrast to the Batlapis. Ma- 
kaha frequently referred to the barbarous manners of 
his southern neighbours, and asked me with an air of 
triumph, if the Batlapis ever washed a wooden bowl, 
or if ever they presented me with food which did not 
contain the mangled bodies of flies, in a dish which 
had had no better cleaning than the tongue of a dog. 

The front cattle-fold, or place where public meet¬ 
ings are held, is a circle, of 170 feet diameter, 
formed with round posts eight feet high, and as close 
to each other as they could stand, each post having 
been hewn round with the axe. Behind lay the pro¬ 
per cattle-fold, capable of holding many thousand 
oxen: there were also large sheep-folds. In the 
early part of the day Makaba was generally employed 
in cutting out skins to sew together for cloaks, and in 
the afternoon he was frequently found in a measure 
intoxicated, from a stronger kind of beer made for his 
own use. He appeared aged, although his mother 
was then alive. He was tall, robust, and healthy; 
had rather the appearance of a Hottentot; his conn- 



tenance displayed a good deal of cunning; and, from 
his conversation, one might easily discern that he was 
well versed in African politics. He dreaded the dis¬ 
pleasure of none of the surrounding tribes ; but he 
feared the Makooas, or civilized people. War was 
almost perpetual between him and the Bakones, a 
populous nation to the north-east and east. Beyond 
the Bakones lies the Bamanguato tribe, distinguished 
for industry and riches ; and beyond the Bamanguato 
lie the Bamagalatsela, who seem to form the limits, in 
that direction, of the aborigines of the country ; for 
beyond them, they said, were half white people, who 
wear linen, and whose manners are very hogale, 
(savage.) While walking to a neighbouring height, I 
was able to count fourteen considerable villages ; the 
farthest distant about one mile and a half; and I was 
informed that there were more towns, which I could 
not see. 

For several days I tried at noon to get a secluded 
spot where I might take the latitude, but was so 
beset with a crowd of spectators, always in motion 
when I sat, that the quicksilver of the artificial hori¬ 
zon was made to move as with a breeze. I once left 
my compass at the wagon for the purpose of attract¬ 
ing their attention, while I stole away with my in¬ 
struments to a distance; but a crowd soon followed, 
to see the seipone (self-seer), as they called the quick¬ 
silver, and their bustling motions again rendered the 
taking of a correct altitude of the sun impossible. 

One night we heard a woman screaming in the 
town, and, on inquiry in the morning, found that a 
hyena had carried away her child, which had hap¬ 
pened to wander a few yards from the door. On our 


expressing astonishment, we were informed that such 
occurrences were very common, and that after night¬ 
fall the hyenas were in the habit of strolling through 
all the lanes of the town, and carrying away whatever 
they could seize. As these animals were thus accus¬ 
tomed to gorge themselves with human flesh, it be¬ 
came extremely dangerous to pass the night in the 
open field, especially on the confines of a town. I 
pointed out plans by which it appeared to me they 
might succeed in extirpating them, hut they seemed 
very indifferent to my suggestions ; urging as a reason, 
that there was something not lucky in coming in con¬ 
tact with the blood of a hyena. 

One evening, long before retiring to rest, we 
heard, in the direction of the water pools, the scream¬ 
ing of women and children, as if they were in the 
greatest danger. I sent off a few men, who ran to the 
spot, and found three children who had been draw¬ 
ing water closely pursued by hyenas, which were 
on the point of seizing them. The men succeeded 
in driving the animals away, on which they ran to¬ 
wards the women, whom the men also rescued. I 
understood that it frequently happened, that children 
sent to the pools for water never returned. Many 
must thus be devoured in the course of a year, a 
reflection calculated to make anv one shudder. 

The country of the Bauangketsi is hilly, and even 
mountainous towards the north and east. The soil 
in general is very rich ; but water is rather scarce, 
and though I believe rains are pretty abundant, yet, 
from what I could learn, irrigation would be abso¬ 
lutely necessary to raise European vegetables and 
grain. The countries to the north and east abound 

2 D 



with rivers, and are very fruitful and populous. The 
mountains are adorned to their very summits with 
stately trees and shrubs, unknown in the southern 
parts of the continent, which give the country a pic¬ 
turesque and imposing appearance. 

. I embraced another opportunity of conversing 
with Makaba on the subject of a missionary resid¬ 
ing with him, with which idea he professed to be 
highly pleased. I also hinted that it was probable 
that a missionary would go to the Bahurutsi, on 
which he remarked, that men of peace should live 
in every nation, that a friendly intercourse might 
be kept up.” Pointing to a bunch of beads which 
kung at his kaross, he remarked that a friend of 
mine (Mr. Campbell) had sent them to him from 
the Bahurutsi. ‘‘ I suppose,” he added, '' their 
stories frightened him back the road he came; by 
representing me to be the king of villains. I hope 
he did not believe the testimony of my enemies. 
My enemies are not the persons to judge of my 

' I had embraced different opportunities of con¬ 
versing with the chief and his people on divine 
things, but with little success; at least, he appeared 
as if he did not hear a word I said. Sometimes, 
when I have been trying to arrest his attention by 
repeating something striking in the works of God, or 
in the life of the Saviour, he would interrupt by ask¬ 
ing a question as distant as the antipodes from the 
.subject to which I hoped he was listening. I felt par¬ 
ticularly anxious on the sabbath to obtain a hearing, 
and resolved to pay him a formal visit for that pur¬ 
pose. I had felt miserable at the prospect of leaving 



without the satisfaction of having told him what was 
the only object of the missionary, especially as he 
had professed his wish to have one. On the sah- 
hath morning early, we had our prayer meeting, 
but such rwas the crowd and noise, that to hold 
the service was out of the question. The more 
we entreated them to be quiet, the greater uproar 
they made, so that we were compelled to desist. 
In the forenoon, taking some of my company with 
me, I went into the town, and found Makaba 
seated amidst a large number of his principal men, 
all engaged either preparing skins, cutting them, 
sewing mantles, or telling news. 

Sitting down beside this great man, illustrious for 
war and conquest, and amidst nobles and counsellors, 
including rain-makers and others of the same order, 
I stated to him that my object was to tell him my 
news. His countenance lighted up, hoping to hear 
of feats of war, destruction of tribes, and such 
like subjects, so congenial to his savage disposi¬ 
tion. When he found that my topics had solely a 
reference to the Great Being of whom, the day 
before, he had told me he knew nothing, and of 
the Saviour’s mission to this world, whose name 
he had never heard, he resumed his knife and 
jackal’s skin, and hummed a native air. One of 
his men, sitting near me, appeared struck with the 
character of the Redeemer, which I was endeavour¬ 
ing to describe, and particularly with his miracles. 
On hearing that he had raised the dead, he very 
naturally exclaimed, ‘‘ What an excellent doctor he 
must have been, to make dead men live!” This 
led me to describe his power, and how that power 

2 D 2 


makaea’s astonishment. 

would be exercised at the last day in raising the 
dead. In the course of my remarks, the ear of 
the monarch caught the startling sound of a resur¬ 
rection. ‘‘What!” he exclaimed with astonishment, 
“what are these words about? the dead, the dead 
arise!” Yes,” was my reply, “all the dead shall 
arise.” “Will my father arise?” “Yes,” I answer¬ 
ed, “ your father will arise.” “Will all the slain 
in battle arise?” ‘Wes.” “And will all that have 
been killed and devoured by lions, tigers, hyenas, 
and crocodiles, again revive ?” “ Yes; and come 

to judgment.” “And will those whose bodies have 
been left to waste and to wither on the desert 
plains, and scattered to the winds, again arise ?” 
he asked with a kind of triumph as if he had now 
fixed me. “Yes,” I replied, “not one will be left 
behind.” This I repeated with increased emphasis. 
After looking at me for a few moments, he turned 
to his people, to whom he sjioke with a stentorian 
voice:—“ Hark, ye wise men, whoever is among 
you, the wisest of past generations, did ever your 
ears hear such strange and unheard of news ? ” 
And addressing himself to one whose countenance 
and attire showed that he had seen many years, 
and was a personage of no common order, ‘ ‘ Have 
you ever heard such strange news as this?” “No,” 
was the sage’s answer; “I had supposed that I 
possessed all the knowledge of the country, for I 
have heard the tales of many generations. I am 
in the place of the ancients, but my knowledge 
is confounded with the words of his mouth. 
Surely he must have lived long before the period 
when we were born.” Makaba, then turning and 



addressing himself to me, and laying his hand on 
my hreast, said, “ Father, I love you much. Your 
visit and your presence have made my heart white 
as milk. The words of your mouth are sweet as 
honev, hut the words of a resurrection are too 
great to he heard. I do not wish to hear again 
about the dead rising I The dead cannot arise! 
The dead must not arise !” ‘‘ Why,” I inquired, can 
so great a man refuse knowledge, and turn aw'ay from 
wisdom ? Tell me, my friend, why I must not ‘ add 
to wmrds’ and speak of a resurrection ?” Raising 
and uncovering his arm, wdiich had been strong in 
battle, and shaking his hand as if quivering a spear, 
he replied, ‘'I have slain my thousands, (bontsintsi,) 
and shall they arise ?” Never before had the light 
of divine revelation dawned upon his savage mind, 
and of course his conscience had never accused him, 
no, not for one of the thousands of deeds of rapine 
and murder which had marked his course through a 
long career. 

While the chieftain and myself were engaged in 
the above conversation, the most profound silence 
reigned, and which continued till interrupted by 
one whose features appeared to indicate that he 
was a man of war. I have killed many, but I 
never saw the immortal part which you describe.” 
'‘Because invisible,” I replied; and referred him to 
manv invisible thin 2 :s, the existence of which he 
never doubted. Makaha again muttered, "What 
do my ears hear to-day ? I am old, but never 
thought of these things before ;” and hinted that he 
had heard enough. One of the Griquas wdio w^as 
with me, observing the strong excitement which 


tsusane’s rebellion. 

had been produced, partook of the spirit, and ad¬ 
dressing' me in the Dutch language, said:—“Oh, I 
was thinking if you would only exercise a little more 
faith, and cure that lame man, the whole of the 
thousands of the Bauangketsi would be believers.” 

They were greatly interested when I explained to 
them the use of writing, and books, but appeared to 
be a little superstitious about touching them. It 
afforded me no little gratification that these subjects 
of conversational instruction had excited considerable 
interest, for many afterwards came to our wagons to 
make further inquiries. 

Among the early interviews I had with this mo¬ 
narch, who exercised a despotic sway over a popu¬ 
lation of, at the lowest computation, seventy thou¬ 
sand, he was wont to refer with unmeasured feeh 
ings of pleasure to an event which had led him to 
style me Tsala ea moeng, “ The stranger’s friend.” 
I should not have known the circumstances of the 
painful and deeply interesting event, which gave rise 
to this name, had I not one day asked why he 
appeared to feel so much pleasure in calling me 
Tsala ea moeng. He had had a son, Tsusane, the heir 
to royalty and pov^er. Tsusane had some years before 
fled from his father, and according to his own ac¬ 
count, for the best of reasons. He and his followers 
took up their abode among the Barolongs, told his 
tale, and tried with all his eloquence, for he was 
both eloquent and imposing in his appearance, to 
rouse the Barolongs to make war against his father 
as the worst of beings. Hoping to raise an invin¬ 
cible army to accomplish the extirpation of him 
-he called the greatest of tyrants from the earth, 



he came with his company as far as our station, the 
Kuruman. Mothihi congratulated him on his escape 
I’roni the murderous Makaba. He was very formally 
introduced to Mr. Hamilton and myself, and we of 
course received him with all due courtesy, for even 
savages can appreciate that. He told the story of 
his lather’s brutality. Gasi motliu, he is not a 
human being,” he often said, which in the phrase¬ 
ology of the country, implies that he is a lion, or 
some other beast of prey. In order to add colour¬ 
ing and weight to his statements, he tried to 
persuade every one he met with, that it was the 
intention of his father to desolate the country; 
and to those who knew any thing about Dr. 
Cowan and Denovan’s expedition, he declared that 
he saw his father destroy them, with all the pro¬ 
bable minuti0e connected with such a scene. All 
this he told over again to us, and he looked ra¬ 
ther strangely when informed that we could not 
believe all that he said, nor would we allow ourselves 
to he persuaded, that Makaba his father was the 
man he represented him to be; pointing out to him, 
at the same time, the magnitude of the crime of 
which he w^as guilty in his rebellion against, not 
only his king but his father, and that thereby he 
was seeking his own destruction. These remarks 
put a close to the conversation at that time. Mo¬ 
thihi, though an inveterate enemy of Makaba, wmuld 
not grant his aid, and the young rebel returned 
to the Barolongs, where he influenced a large party 
to rally round his standard. By my inquiry respect¬ 
ing the designation I had obtained, the following 
additional facts were elicited, which give a striking 

408 tsusane’s affecting end. 

display of the judgments of God even among the 
heathen :—He was represented as an aspiring youth, 
eager to obtain the reins of regal power, and 
had contemplated the destruction of his father. 
Having a persuasive tongue, and a fascinating ap¬ 
pearance and address, he tried to win the hearts 
of the people. He condescended to call the ple¬ 
beian his child, which, in the dignified minds of 
the Bauangketsi nobles, created suspicion. This 
artifice failing, he secretly got a deep hole dug in 
the path which his father was wont to frequent, 
in which he got sharp stakes fastened, and the 
whole covered as if to entrap game, hoping that 
on the coming morn his father might be the un¬ 
fortunate victim of his unnatural cruelty. The 
plot was discovered, and Tsusane fled. Makaba, 
justly dreading farther stratagems, got some of 
his most confidential attendants, under pretence of 
flying from the same alleged despotism, to ap¬ 
pear to support the rebellion, while in reality they 
were only to watch the motions of his son. This 
they faithfully carried into execution. Several of 
these, who were intelligent men, were among his 
retinue when he visited our station on the Kuru- 
man river. They had listened to what I had said 
to him in reference to his conduct, and the cha¬ 
racter of his father. On his return to the Baro- 
longs, some of these fled to Makaba, and related 
all that they had heard. Makaba loved his son, 
and notwithstanding all Tsusane’s demonstrations of 
hatred, gave imperative orders to his warriors, that 
in their conflicts with him and his adherents, 
they were to spare the life of his son. In one of 



liis attacks on a cattle out-post, where a strong 
force happened to be placed, he was defeated. Al¬ 
though a man of great swiftness, one swifter still 
overtook him, who shouted, ‘‘ Throw down your 
weapons, and your life is safe.” He turned and 
threw his spear, but missed his mark. He was 
again overtaken, when the same kind message was 
sounded in his ears, with the addition, “Your fa¬ 
ther loves you, and will not kill you.” He hurled 
another spear at his pursuer, and fled. The third 
time the voice of mercy reached his ear, and while 
drawing from his shield his battle axe, his pursher 
transfixed him with a spear. When the tidings 
reached Kuakue, the father mourned for his son, 
and had nearly taken vengeance on the man who 
had deprived him of his first-born. Makaba more 
than once referred to those events with much feeling, 
and would ask if it was the Great Being I talked 
about, who told me the facts of the case, when 
he would repeat, verbatim, all that I had said to 

Our time being expired, the Griquas informed 
Makaba that it was their wish to leave in the 
course of a dav or two in order to hunt, and at 
the same time I pointed out to him the necessity 
of my returning with my small party, as from the 
dryness of the season I feared the few pools on 
the Barolong plains would be dried up. This he 
did not like, though aware of the difficulty of 
our returning except by a circuitous route. On 
reaching the wagons in the evening, I found the 
people under great alarm, a report having been 
spread that the natives intended murdering the 



whole party. On investigating the different stories, 
(not one like another, though all bad enough,) I was 
convinced that this report was unfounded. Nothing, 
however, could quell the fears of the Griquas. Guns 
were unloosed, loaded, and placed by the wagons 
in case of an attack, while the gloom of night in 
a valley surrounded by dark looking mountains, 
made the imagination fertile, filling the ears with 
hoarse and warlike sounds, and surrounding the camp 
with thousands of Bauangketsi warriors. Every mes¬ 
sage, and every motion of a visitor, were construed 
to be hostile. I had left my interpreter in the 
town, who, with the boys who tended the oxen 
which were kept at night in Makaba’s cattle fold, 
did not make their appearance. Some person, whom 
no one had seen or could name, had reported that 
they were murdered. I returned to the town to 
look about, with a view to convince the company 
that their fears were groundless, and found the 
persons of whom I was in search, perfectly igno¬ 
rant of the horrors which were said to await us, and 
returned unscathed to the wagons; but all this 
failed to convince. Many passed a sleepless night, 
and in the morning, before the Bauangketsi had 
well finished their night’s repose, the oxen were 
brought from the fold, and all was soon in motion. 
The people seeing preparations made for departure, 
surrounded us by thousands, with oxen and articles 
for sale. They could discover the alarm and the pre¬ 
parations for defence. It was early, the wind was 
cold, and the people had all their mantles on: and 
imagination saw short spears concealed beneath. A 
party of armed horsemen rode out before to see if 



the ravine through which we had to pass was clear, 
for a regiment was said to he there. This was 
bidding a grateful farewell to the king and people, 
who had shown us no little kindness ! 

To arrest the panic looked like staying the course 
of the wind. A native chief interrogating one of 
the principal individuals in our company as to that 
manner of leaving, received, in addition to insolent 
replies, what amounted to a stroke of the hand, on 
which he looked extremely fierce. At this moment 
I began to fear, not that the reports were true, 
but that this act might give rise to something se¬ 
rious, and to resist the force of some thousands of 
native warriors would have been a forlorn hope. 
As I could not stay my own people, I remained 
behind, conversing as well as 1 could with the prin¬ 
cipal men, who crowded around me, eagerly inquiring 
the cause of the flight. After the wagons had 
gone nearly out of sight, they permitted me to fol¬ 
low, after I had assured them that if I could not stop 
the party, I should return. The wagons halted at 
a small fountain, Mahubichu, about a mile and a 
half behind the hill on which the town stood, as some 
of our oxen were missing. Some messengers from 
Makaba came, and very justly complained of the 
abrupt departure. Fears were partially allayed, 
hut not one of them would venture to the town. 
Some of the oxen not being forthcoming, it was 
resolved, though with great reluctance, to spend an¬ 
other night in fear and anxiety, while I forwarded 
a message to Makaba, that I should visit him early 
next morning. During the evening a native came 
and corroborated the fearful report, but on his 


hearing that we intended securing him, he made a 
clean pair of heels of it, and we never saw him 

Next morning I informed my companions that 
I was resolved to visit the town, to remove, if pos¬ 
sible, the misunderstanding to which their credulity 
had given rise ; and that the door which had now been 
opened for the introduction of the Gospel might 
not be closed. They all opposed, and some talked 
of using force, to prevent me from running unto 
deaths as they described it. However, I walked off 
towards the town, and before reaching it, was over¬ 
taken by three of our party, who said nothing, 
but followed after. We found Makaba sitting in the 
midst of a company of his chief men. On our ap¬ 
proaching him he addressed us individually, “ Borow 
Molutsana,” (good morning, villain.) On my return¬ 
ing the compliment, “ Good morning, you Molutsana,” 
he laughed most heartily. We then sat down and 
entered into conversation. He very justly complained 
of our unexpected departure, and of our not having 
communicated the reports, of which he also had been 
informed, for investigation. I answered that I had 
never credited the reports referred to, and that our 
visit that morning, unarmed, as he might see, for I 
was without a jacket, was, I thought, a sufficient 
proof of the confidence reposed in him. He re¬ 
marked that he had not slept during the night, but 
that our arrival that morning was sufficient to make 
him dance for joy. After spending some time in 
conversation, he gave us refreshments, presented me 
with another ox, and ordered a number to be taken 
to the wagons for the Griquas. By this time a mul- 



titude was collected, every one more eager than an¬ 
other to assure us of their joy at seeing us once more. 
Before leaving I addressed Makaha, stating that if I 
liad given him and his people a satisfactory proof of 
peace and friendship, I begged one in return, viz., 
that he would accompany me to the wagons; to 
which he replied that he was now old, but could not 
deny my request. AVe accordingly repaired to the 
camp, when he joked the Griquas for their credu¬ 
lity, presenting each of the chief men with an ox. 
Before he left, he requested me and two of my com¬ 
pany to saddle our horses, for he was anxious to see 
muskets discharged on horseback. I declined, ob¬ 
serving that there were others of the company far 
more expert: but he would not be satisfied unless I 
did it, as I was a white man. After much persua¬ 
sion I submitted, and going into my wagon, pro¬ 
fessedly to fetch my jacket, put into my pocket a 
brace of pistols, charged with powder only. After 
going a few turns round the smooth grassy plain, while 
the king and his attendants were roaring aloud with 
admiration, I galloped past them, discharging the con¬ 
tents of both pistols nearly at once, which astonished 
the Bauangketsi more than any thing they had ever 
seen, and frightened them too, for they all fell prostrate 
to the earth, supposing they were shot. As soon as I 
alighted from the horse, Makaba began to unbutton 
my jacket to see ‘‘the little rogues,” as he called 
them, exclaiming, “ What a blessing that you white 
men seek to be friends with all nations, for who is 
there that could withstand you ? ” Laying his hand 
on my shoulder he added, “I do, indeed, see that 
you were without fear, or you would have had your 



pistols this morning.” After remaining for a couple 
of hours we parted, Makaba highly gratified, and 
the Griquas no less so with the explanation which 
had taken place. 

. Every thing being arranged to the entire satisfac¬ 
tion of all parties, two of our number, Karse and 
Hendrick, remained behind with their wagons, in 
order to hunt elephants, while Berend Berend and 
his company proceeded towards the Barolongs, with 
the intention of starting off in another direction to 
hunt, when I expected to be left to return with only 
my half-dozen attendants. This was the plan; but 
after halting at a pool for the night, Berend and his 
party, for some reason, came to the unexpected reso¬ 
lution of returning homewards, having already bartered 
for a quantity of ivory with the Bauangketsi. As we 
proceeded^ we were met on the following day by 
three messengers from Tuane, begging the Griquas 
to come with all speed to the assistance of the Baro¬ 
longs, who were expecting an attack from a tribe of 
Mantatees, who were in the confines of the town. 
As it was impossible, from the want of water, to take 
any other route than through the Barolong territories, 
which we would gladly have done, to avoid coming in 
contact with so savage and warlike a body, we tra¬ 
velled with all haste. 

On reaching the town early next morning, such 
was the scene of confusion which met our eyes, that 
we were persuaded it was in the hands of the enemy. 
Here we found Sehonello, the Barolong chief, with 
whom our Wesleyan brethren, Messrs. Hodgson and 
Broadbent, had been labouring near the Yellow River, 
and who had been attacked and driven from his home 



by tlie same enemy. The confusion having in a 
measure subsided, and it being discovered tliat the 
enemv were not so near as it was rumoured, the 
Barolong chiefs, with about one thousand armed men, 
came and seated themselves before our wagons, and 
used every argument in their power to induce the 
Gri(pias to unite with them in repelling the ma¬ 
rauders. Tauane spoke to the following effect:— 
You see how many human bones lie scattered 
on the plain, and how many of us are dying from 
hunger, the result of last year’s scourge, when the 
Mantatees drove us from Kunuana. If you do not 
help us, we must all perish. Towards the setting 
sun is a desert without water ; towards the sunrise 
there is no rest from the Mantatees. On one side is 
Makaba my enemy; on the other the Mantatees are 
approaching, who will destroy us all ; and I still dread 
Mothibi.” Sebonello, who appeared a fine intelligent 
man, remarked, “ I have lost my all, and I see no 
alternative but to fight or die.” We all felt per¬ 
plexed, and recommended the Barolongs to remove 
with us towards the Kuruman. This they wmuld not 
do, owing to an old enmity between them and the 
Batlapis. The party we had left behind, (to whom we 
had sent, warning them of their danger,) did not make 
their appearance. We waited a day, hoping they 
would arrive ; but as the reports about the dreaded 
horde were rather dubious, we left next day at noon. 
After travelling about twelve miles, we halted in the 
bed of the Molapo river, which lies in latitude 
25° 40^, and flows westward. Soon after halting, 
and when I had taken u}) my pen to put down a fcAV 
notes, a man was observed running towards us from a 



neighbouring height, who, on reaching the wagon, 
was in a state of great exhaustion and terror. It was 
difficult to obtain from him any thing like a reason 
for his flight. He looked round with a wildness 
which led some to think he was insane, and we left 
him with something of that impression. After I had 
resumed my pen, it occurred to me that all was not 
right, and went again with Berend to the man. We 
learned, after many inquiries, that he had been taken 
prisoner by the tribe we were dreading, and who were 
at a distance preparing to attack the town; that two 
hundred warriors had left the main body, and brought 
him as a guide, to attack the Barolong outposts; in 
order to secure him during the night, they had 
covered him with a large skin cloak, on the extre¬ 
mities of which men lay ; that they were to attack 
the flying Barolongs on the west, while the main body 
was to fall on the town from the east. On seeing the 
wagons, and learning from their guide that they were 
white people’s travelling houses, they suddenly fled, and 
he escaped; but he added, he thought they would attack 
us. From his manner of speaking, scarcely one felt 
inclined to believe his relation. It was near sunset 
before the party could be induced to send out a few 
horsemen, in order to ascertain if there were any 
foot-marks in the direction from whence the man 
came. They had not been absent more than thirty 
minutes, when one came galloping back with the 
intelligence that the Bakhari, or Mantatees, were ac¬ 
tually there ; and as I had entreated them not to 
shoot any one, they wanted to know what they were 
to do. Berend strongly urged me to go with addi¬ 
tional men, and try either to speak to them or 



frighten them; as an attack on our defenceless camp 
during the night would, in all prohahility, end in the 
whole of us being butchered ; and to flee, leaving all 
behind, would only make us an easier prey. I ac¬ 
cordingly set off with a few additional horsemen ; and 
when we came in sight, they began to move off; but 
when we halted, they did so too. Their appearance 
was extremely fierce and savage, and their attitude 
very menacing. It was evident that they were reluc¬ 
tant to depart, which was a convincing proof that 
a night attack was premeditated ; and when it was 
growing dark they compelled us to retreat, till a few 
shots were fired in the air, when they again fled, 
and we pursued, hoping to increase their fright. We 
overtook one, whom we surrounded, for the purpose 
of informing him who we were, and that we had no 
intention of doing them harm. He stood with his 
shield and war axe in his left hand, and a spear in his 
right, raised as if in the act of hurling it. I confess I 
never saw any thing so fiend-like as that man ; and 
concluded that, if he was a specimen of his tribe, all 
hope had fled for the Barolongs. His body lubri¬ 
cated with grease and charcoal ; a large round cock¬ 
ade of black ostricli feathers on his head ; his eyes 
glaring with rage ; while his open mouth, displaying 
his white teeth, poured forth the most opprobrious 
epithets and obscene curses, threatening to give our 
flesh to the hyenas, and our eyes to the crows, when 
he made a run first at one of us, and then at another. 
One of the men, in order to frighten him, fired a 
hall directly over his head, when he fell, and the 
liorsemen rushed forward to seize him before he rose ; 
hut he was too ex})ert, and made us (juickly turn 

2 E 



away in no little confusion ; and had it not been 
for the fear of losing his spear, it would certainly 
have been plunged into one of our number. It was 
now becoming too dark to make any farther attempts, 
and we let him go, and turned in the direction of 
the wagons, which were about seven miles distant. 
We had not proceeded many paces, when we were 
alarmed to find that we were surrounded by those 
who we supposed had fled, but who had secreted 
themselves among the bushes, and, aided by the dark¬ 
ness, were closing in upon our small party. Head 
after head rose above the bushes, when the yell com¬ 
menced. This was a critical moment; and the men 
who were with me behaved admirably; for, instead 
of levelling some, in order to obtain egress, a few 
shots were fired into the sand before the horses’ heads, 
when we galloped through what appeared the weakest 
part; but many were the javelins which they threw. 
This was a narrow escape ; for if a horse had fallen, 
which is common in the dark, amidst bushes, sticks, 
and stones, he and his rider would have been instantly 
covered with spears. The enemy were again pur¬ 
sued with some blank shots, when, hastening back 
to the wagons, we were alarmed by the reports of 
muskets, which convinced us that they had been 
attacked by the enemy. It was with some difficulty 
we joined our companions, owing to a party hovering 
round, who, in the dusk of the evening, had rushed 
out of the reeds in the river, and driven the men 
who were left from the wagons, which they struck 
with their war axes, as if they were living things. 
They thrust their hands into the boiling pots on the 
fire, and seized the meat. Not seeing the main body, 



})art of wliicli we had been pursuing, make its appear¬ 
ance, according to their plan, they retired, but not 
before one was wounded, if not more. The night 
was a sleepless one ; and before day dawned, mes¬ 
sengers arrived from the town, soliciting the Griquas, 
with the most earnest entreaties, to return, as an 
immediate attack was expected, and the knowledge 
of horsemen being there might alarm the invaders, 
and save the town. To this Berend would not have 
agreed, hut for the sake of some of our party, who 
were yet behind, and who, it was justly feared, might 
fall into the hands of the enemy. In the morning, 
of six Barolong spies who had been sent out, two 
only returned, the others having been killed. In the 
evening some thousand warriors left the town, ac¬ 
companied by seven or eight horsemen, with the 
confident hope that the enemy would flee when they 
made their appearance. They had not proceeded three 
miles from the town, before they saw the whole body 
moving onward with lighted torches. Both parties 
halted at no great distance from each other. When 
morning dawned they looked one another in the face, 
and the enemy, instead of being intimidated, rushed, 
like a mighty black wave, upon the Barolongs, who 
fled. Sebonello’s party, who were of a holder cha¬ 
racter, resisted for some minutes, during which time 
seventeen of his men fell, among whom were his 
three brothers. The horsemen, seeing that they 
were not to be frightened by appearances, and that 
the loss of life would be terrible, fired a few shots 
among the enemy, which arrested their progress. 
They fled from the horsemen ; but seeing a large 
party of Barolongs attempting to take their cattle, 

2 E 2 



they surrounded them, and would have cut them 
all down, had they not been again dispersed by the 
horsemen, when they appeared panic-stricken, and 
fled. The Barolongs rallied, not to fight, but to seize 
the cattle, with which they decamped. Of these 
some hundreds were recovered by the Griquas, who 
took them, and some women who had also fallen into 
the hands of the Barolongs, and conducted them to 
within a few gun-shots of the enemy, who stood petri¬ 
fied with amazement to see their conquerors bringing 
back, not only a large number of their cattle, but 
their wives and children. The horsemen did nok 
however, forget to send a very fearful message by the 
women, which induced the marauders to make the 
best of their way out of sight. 

While all this was going on, Berend, his brother 
Nicholas, and myself, with the wagon-drivers, were 
waiting with intense anxiety, seeing the wounded, the 
bleeding, and the dying, fleeing past the town, while 
the inhabitants were making their escape in conster¬ 
nation. We had a picture of heathenism indeed in 
the men who had remained in the town, to guard 
it in case of an attack from the opposite quarter, 
for scampering off with their shields and spears, they 
left the women to escape in the best way they could, 
with large bundles and their young children on their 
backs. When we saw the town evacuated, we sent 
off our wagons also; while Nicholas and I remained 
behind with our horses, to wait the result, and learn 
what had become of our men, for whose safety we 
were extremely anxious. As soon as we ascertained 
that they were safe, and that the enemy had fled, I 
rode forward, to apprize the terrified multitude that 



the clanger was over. It was affecting to see, all along 
the course of their flight, utensils, mantles, victuals, 
and many little children, who had been left by their 
affrighted mothers, who expected that all was over. 
Instead of believing what I said^, when I called after 
them that the enemy had fled, and that they must 
not leave their babes to perish with the cold, or be 
devoured by hyenas, they only fled the faster, till, at 
length, I got some one to assist me in driving a 
number back to take up their children. Poor things, 
they did not forget afterwards to shed many grateful 
tears, for my having frightened them hack to save 
their weeping infants. 

When most of the inhabitants had congregated 
round our wagons, near the river, where we were first 
attacked, it was affecting to see the different families 
meet again. Considering their situation, fkey were 
w onderfully cheerful ; hut there were bleeding hearts; 
and it was a melting scene to witness the return of 
Sebonello, and especially when he exclaimed, “ Of all 
my friends, I only am left ! ” We assembled our 
company in the evening, recorded the mercies of the 
day, and felt devoutly thankful for the deliverance 
that had been granted. Touane, Gontse, Sebonello, 
and other chiefs came to Berend, and, in the most 
feeling manner, thanked him for his assistance. They 
said they felt this the more, as they had learned from 
the prisoner wdio escaped, that it was the determina¬ 
tion of the enemy to attack the town on both sides, 
set it on fire, and then destroy all the people, if they 

On the following morning an event occurred, 
worthy of record. Some of Berend’s people had 



brought droves of fine fat cattle belonging to the 
enemy, which they had taken ‘from the Barolongs, 
who, instead of fighting, had seized the animals, and 
fled. According to established right, they w^ere the 
property of Berend and his people, and every one 
supposed they would be claimed by him. These 
cattle, amounting to several hundreds, were collected, 
and Touane and Sebonello were called, many of them 
having been taken by the enemy from the latter. 
Berend said to them, ‘‘ These cattle I give up to you, 
divide them among you. One or two for my people 
to slaughter on the road, are all that I require.” Se¬ 
bonello received this most disinterested kindness 
with lively feelings of heartfelt gratitude, for he and 
his people were entirely destitute. This was an act 
which astonished the multitude of spectators ; many 
held their hands on their mouths, to signify their 
utter amazement. 

Before separating, some trifling European articles 
were brought, which had been picked up on the 
held of battle. These were once the property of Mr. 
Broadbent, and had been taken from his station when 
the enemy attacked Sebonello. Some of our men 
had seen several of the warriors with pieces of linen 
tied round their legs, and remarked that one of the 
slain appeared as if his legs were burned, and bound 
up with a piece of a shawl. This was explained by 
the man who had been a prisoner. Among the ar¬ 
ticles they had seized, was a bag containing several 
pounds of gunpowder; when seated around their dif¬ 
ferent fires, this bag w-as brought out to examine its 
contents, supposing it to be medicine, or something to 
be eaten. One tasted, another smelled, a third said, 



‘‘ Put it into the hot ashes, it is seed, and needs 
roasting.” In went the bag, when presently a fear¬ 
ful explosion took place, which threw them all on 
their backs, scattering the live embers in all directions. 
As soon as they recovered their senses, they started 
up, and fled from the spot, some exclaiming, more 
oa sethunye,” It is the exploder’s medicine, i. e. gun¬ 

We thankfully retired from the melancholy scenes 
which had occupied our attention for successive days, 
and bent our course to our respective homes. My 
arrival at the station was, indeed, like life from the 
dead. The deepest anxiety had been felt for weeks 
for the safety of myself and companions, as it was 
well known that the hunters intended remaining in 
the interior for the purpose of shooting elephants, 
while I was to return, comparatively, alone^ which 
greatly increased the danger. They had been fully 
and correctly informed that the body of marauders 
which we met had come from the Yellow Hiver, as 
far as Nokaneng, about twenty miles east of Old 
Lithako, and that they had proceeded to the Baro- 
longs, in the direction, and at the very time of my 
contemplated return. To them our destruction ap¬ 
peared inevitable, and it was beyond their power 
either to render assistance, or to give warning. There 
is reason to believe that their fears would have been 
mournfully realized, but for the unexpected circum¬ 
stance of Berend and his party resolving, without any 
definite reason, to return at the same time ; for when 
I asked Berend why he had given up his intended 
hunt; he could give no reason except the feeling that 
he did not like my going home alone. And on our 



arrival at the Barolongs, when, in the prospect of his 
remaining to defend the town, I proposed proceed¬ 
ing without him, he replied, “ No, let us go together.” 
On that same night we were attacked. He more 
than once remarked, how unaccountably his mind had 
been impressed on that occasion, and could not but 
see the finger of God in the whole affair. But for 
this, I should have been surrounded in the wilderness 
by a host of people, such as have been described, 
against whom resistance, supposing it had been at¬ 
tempted, would have proved of no avail, and under 
such circumstances escape or safety would have been 

It may not be uninteresting, briefly to glance at 
what had been going on at the station during my 
absence, where serious apprehensions had been en¬ 
tertained for its safety. All being tranquil when I 
left, Mr. Hamilton had proceeded with the three 
Hottentots to the new station, to make preparations 
for a final removal. Mrs. M. was left alone on the 
old place in one house, and a young Hottentot woman 
in another. About this period a party of marauders, 
composed of Bastards, and others, from the Orange 
River, collected in the Long Mountains, about forty 
miles to the west of the station, attacked some vil¬ 
lages along the Kuruman River, and were contem¬ 
plating a junction with others in order to attack the 
Batlapis and the mission premises. This created con¬ 
siderable uneasiness, but as reports of that kind were 
often dubious, Mrs. M. remained, though not without 
some alarm, knowing their desperate character, and 
fearing that they might be tempted to attack the mission 
house for the sake of ammunition which might be there. 


Hag. i:;:. 




One evening the Hottentot girl came in wringing her 
hands, and, in great distress, stated that the Bakari or 
IVliintatees had been seen at Nokaneng, and were on 
their way to the Kuruman. This was alarming in¬ 
deed, to one who, with two babes, had only two little 
Bushmen children with her in the house, and no 
means of escape but fleeing to the hushes. A message 
was sent to Mothibi, who said that the news of the 
approach of such an enemy was correct, hut that he 
thought there was no very great danger before next 
morning. Mrs. M., after again commending herself 
and little ones to the care of Divine Providence, lay 
down in confidence, and fell asleep. At midnight a 
loud rap at the door awoke her; when, from the 
reports on the preceding evening, she was at a loss 
to think whether it was a rap of Jacob Cleote, the 
Griqua marauder, or the announcement of the near 
approach of the horde from the interior. On asking 
who was at the door, Mothibi replied himself. When 
it was opened, he entered with as many men as 
the house could hold, and announced the dreaded 
intelligence that the Mantatees were approaching. 
The sound of alarm and uproar was raised in every 
part of the town. A light being obtained, Mrs. M. 
seated herself in the midst of the noisy council, 
heard all they had to communicate, and wrote to 
Mr. Hamilton. There was now universal confusion 
till day dawned, which has always some effect in 
raising the spirits, however dejected. Mr. Hamilton 
and the people arrived at eight o’clock, when prepa¬ 
rations were made for a hasty flight. Warriors were 
assembling, and thousands were engaged in secreting 
some articles of their property, and packing up others. 



Each succeeding messenger brought fresh alarms, till, 
about noon, it was ascertained that the dreaded enemy 
had directed their course to the Baralongs, instead of 
coming to the Kuruman. This news dispelled the 
gloomy cloud, and filled every heart with gladness ; 
but the intelligence, which made the populace give 
their fears to the winds, produced in Mrs. M. a shock 
of horror, as the conviction instantly hashed across 
her mind that nothing less than a Divine interpo¬ 
sition could save me from destruction; it being the 
time I w^as expected to be on my return. The 
moment she stated the cause of her fears, all saw the 
danger, and sympathized, but no one could be in¬ 
duced to go in search. The idea of falling in with 
such a horde of savages was horrible in the extreme. 
For three weeks my dear wife was thus exposed to 
a state of mental agony more easily conceived than 
described; and nothing but incessant approaches to 
the throne of God could have supported her. During 
that period continual reports were brought that I had 
been cut off. One had seen a piece of my w^agon; 
another had found a part of my saddle ; and some 
had picked up parts of my linen stained wfith blood; 
till, at last, a few men were prevailed on to go and 
ascertain the facts, and had started on the morning of 
the very day I made my appearance. The preceding 
details will show what real cause there was for alarm, 
for the exercise of faith, fervent prayer, and, subse¬ 
quently, for boundless praise. 


State of the public mind—A civil war—Infatuation—Conference 
with iNIothihi—Attack of the marauders—Leave the station— 
Universal commotion—Death of Peclu, the young prince—The 
Kuatse disease—Cruel superstition—Revenge sought—Renew'ed 
attacks — Mr. Hughes’s illness—Discouraging prospects—Un¬ 
generous conduct—A chief eaten by a lion—Fresh alarms— 
Locusts—Description of them—How prepared for use—Young 
locusts most destructive—Calf stealers — Remarkable case. 

The events which hax^e been recorded may, in the 
judgment of some of my readers, seem irrelevant to 
the subject of missions, except so far as they illustrate 
the nath^e character, and depict the situation into 
which the missionary is frequently brought, in the 
course of his philanthropic career, in countries where 
our species has sunk into the lowest depths of bar¬ 
barism and xdce. In glancing over missionary records 
of bygone years, it will be seen that this is neither a 
new nor a peculiar aspect of the position which Pro¬ 
vidence sometimes calls him to occupy. It may also 
be presumed that no one would be ambitious of such 
a distinction ; while all may see how perplexing, dis¬ 
tressing, and sometimes heart-rending, his situation 
must be, and the need he has of the wisdom which 
cometh from above ; which he feels more especially 
when there are none with whom he can confer. 



It is then that the throne of his heavenly Father is 
found to he a refuge that never fails ; and it is in such 
seasons that he experiences the fulfilment of the pro¬ 
mise, “ Lo, I am with you alwayfor surely in such 
exigencies human prudence would often prove utterly 

After my return, Mr. Hamilton continued his 
labours at the new station, assisted by Mr. Hughes, 
who had arrived from Griqua Town a short time 
before, while I remained to carry on the services 
among the Bechuanas. The attack of the rebel 
Griquas on the Batlaros proved only the precursor 
of a succession of distressing and affiictive provi¬ 
dences among that people, which had well nigh led 
to the destruction of the mission. These circum¬ 
stances kept the public mind in a state of ferment, 
each division and tribe being distrustful of another. 
Attendance on divine worship was extremely irre¬ 
gular ; which Mothibi accounted for by saying, that 
when an enemy came from the interior, they had 
neither horses nor guns, and there was some chance 
of escape ; but when Griquas and Corrannas came, 
who could obtain these means of destruction from the 
white people, the hearts of the Bechuanas could think 
of nothing hut the calamities which awaited them. 

Hitherto, by the providence of God, it had been 
our lot only to view the dire effects of war at a dis¬ 
tance from our station; which induced us to hope that 
the escape of our people would have a salutary influ¬ 
ence on their minds. But dark and intricate are the 
ways of Providence ; for our hopes were soon blasted 
by a civil war, which acquired such magnitude as to 
oblige us speedily to abandon the station, and retire 



to Griqua Town, which could scarcely he considered 
an asylum from the conflicting parties who sur¬ 
rounded us. The Batlapis professed to assist the 
Batlaros against the lawless banditti whose rendez¬ 
vous was in the Long Mountains, to the west; but 
instead of doing so only seized on their cattle. This 
act of treachery excited the indignation of the Bat¬ 
laros : they made reprisals ; and, as in all such cases, 
bloodshed followed rapine. A public meeting was 
convened, to which the Batlaros chiefs were invited, 
when every exertion was made to bring the parties 
to an amicable agreement, and prevent the widening 
of the breach. At the request of both parties, I 
spoke at the meeting. My address was only a short 
speech on the blessings of peace, and the certain 
fearful results of a civil war, especially while a lion, 
fiercer than either party, was couching in the moun¬ 
tains, ready to pounce on them both. Mothihi had 
neither the wisdom, honesty, nor decision, to order 
his people to resign their ill-gotten spoil, while he 
and his friends were candid enough to acknow¬ 
ledge that they had brought themselves into the 
distressing dilemma. 

The Batlaros returned mortified, and held up Mo- 
thibi to derision in their dance and song; and he 
again resolved to muster his warriors, and punish 
them for these puerile displays of ill-will. When 
Mothihi communicated his intention, I pleaded, rea¬ 
soned, and remonstrated against the measure, as 
fraught with ruin. As he wished one or more of our 
men to accompany him, I consulted the brethren, 
Hamilton and Hughes, and replied that it was our 
conviction that evil, instead of good, would accrue 



from such a measure. All knew that hitherto we had 
kept ourselves from all interference in their political 
affairs, except when we thought we could be the 
means of promoting peace, and preventing the effu¬ 
sion of blood. Thus far, as the servants of God, we 
could proceed, but no farther. I again entreated 
him for the sake of his people, their wives and little 
ones, not to take a step which was fraught with con¬ 
sequences of an appalling nature, and which would 
terminate in the suspension of our labours among 
them, and their being scattered like the hunted deer 
on the plains. We appealed to all present, whether 
our counsel, as the servants of Christ, had in any one 
instance failed to secure to them the blessings of 
peace; and concluded by recommending them rather 
to flee towards Griqua Town than enter upon civil war. 
To this Mothibi replied, with an air of scorn, that the 
Griquas, who were nurtured under the Gospel, were 
involved in war; that the heads of the banditti they 
dreaded were Griquas, and subjects of the Griqua 
government; and that the Batlaros were his subjects, 
and they despised his threatenings on the ground that 
the missionaries would prevent him from taking harsh 
measures ; but that he was determined to make them 
feel. After making some exceedingly severe remarks 
on our conduct, for our not first reforming the Griquas, 
and especially Jacob Cloete and Klass Drayer, the 
heads of the marauders, and once professors of reli¬ 
gion, he went away in a rage. 

Next morning he returned with some chief men, 
and, having had time to reflect on the counsel given 
him, was as meek as possible, and begged that, as I 
thought I could prevent a battle, I would accompany 



him to the Batlaros. This I engaged to do^ if he 
would allow me first to remove my family to the 
brethren at our new station, which would require 
two or three days. I also recommended an embassy, 
and not an armed force, as 1 was too well acquainted 
with the Bechuana character, to expect that they 
would conduct themselves in a way calculated to win 
the affections of the justly offended Batlaros, who, to 
revenge their wrongs, would undoubtedly call in the 
assistance of the horde from the mountains. 

The commando, thirsting for spoil, set off the next 
day, leaving Mothibi behind. The result of this was 
the devastation of the towns and villages of the Bat¬ 
laros, who fled at their approach. The temporary 
house at the new station being ready, I removed my 
family thither. Two days after, when Mr. Hamilton 
and myself were down at the town, to bring away 
some useful articles, we stopped the night; and as 
the country was full of alarming reports, Mothibi and 
some of his men came and spent the evening with us, 
in one of our old reed houses, around a fire on a clay 
floor, without either tables or chairs. Much conver¬ 
sation and dispute ensued as to the cause of the 
present distracted state of the country, and the best 
means to be adopted to avoid becoming involved in 
the threatened ruin. Mothibi again asserted, in his 
usual angry tone, that the heads of the banditti of the 
country were Griquas, and that they were our friends 
and servants, whom we could command, and with 
whom we had constant intercourse : moreover, that 
these Griquas were sup})lied with guns and ammuni¬ 
tion by the colonists, for the purpose of extirpating 
the Bechuanas ! We explained the relation in which 



we, as wel] as the people of Griqua Town, stood to 
the rebels in the mountains ; and that they might yet 
see that we were as much afraid of those he called 
our friends as he was ; and again solemnly brought 
before him the indifference of the Bechuanas, and 
even their hatred to the Gospel of Christ, as a fact 
which gave us very little reason to hope for that de¬ 
liverance which had been so singularly displayed on 
their behalf on former occasions. 

After holding our evening worship, we begged, in 
case of approaching danger, that they would flee in 
the direction of our station, as it might prove an 
asylum, especially to the females and children. At 
this they scoffed and raged, telling us to go and 
convert the Griquas; and thus left us, not knowing 
whether the enemy might approach before morning, 
or if the natives, in their anger, might not set fire to 
our reed dwelling. 

The day after our return home, we heard the re¬ 
ports of muskets, and from the immense columns 
of smoke arising, we were convinced that many of 
the towns and villages were on fire. We continued 
some hours in sad suspense, during which the women 
and children were passing to the east; but some, faint 
from exhaustion and terror, remained at our dwell¬ 
ings, while the more vigorous of the sex were press¬ 
ing forward with trembling steps, in all directions. 
Mothibi also came, dejected and forlorn, and related, 
with many a sigh, the melancholy events of the day. 
At his urgent request we sent our four men on horse¬ 
back, hoping that they might be able to deliver a 
message to the heads of the commando, and thereby 
prevent further devastation. They went, and were 



instantly snrroanded by thirty horsemen, and one 
had his hat shot off his head, which compelled them 
to make a precipitate retreat, while several of the 
]3echuanas, who accompanied them, were killed. 

Our situation became ten times more precarious 
than ever, having now discovered that their numbers 
were formidable, and that they had butchered hund¬ 
reds in cold blood, and committed acts of horrid bar¬ 
barity in cutting off* the hands of the women in order 
the more easily to remove from their arms the rings 
which they wore. Some prisoners who had escaped 
gave us, moreover, every reason to expect that they 
would attack our station with the hope of obtaining 
ammunition. Though this was a hackneyed threat, 
the appearance of our men, and their ignorance of 
our motives for allowing them to go, did not leave 
the shadow of a doubt on our minds that our situa¬ 
tion was a dangerous one, particularly as all the na¬ 
tives were ffeeing, and we could expect little quarter 
from the heterogeneous mass of Griquas, Bastards 
from the Colony, Namaquas, Corannas, Bushmen, 
and Batlaros, which composed the banditti. After 
much deliberation and prayer for Divine guidance, 
we felt, however reluctant, we ought to pack up 
during the night the most useful of our goods, that 
Mr. Hughes and myself, with our families, should 
leave on the coming morning ; while Mr. Hamilton, 
who was without family, and one man, should remain, 
with a couple of horses, in case of danger, till wagons 
should be sent to his assistance from Daniel’s Kuil. 

To us the sabbath was not a day of rest ; but 
though we hung onr harps upon the willows, we were 
enabled to wrestle with God in prayer for the poor 

2 F 



Becliuanas, wlio appeared to be given over to infatua¬ 
tion ; and thousands of whom were scattered on the 
lonely desert^ pinched with hunger, and threatened 
with misery, famine, and death. Many females, lame 
with walking, and some near the time of their con¬ 
finement, had sought refuge in our houses, while 
others had sunk under accumulated toil. It was 
deeply affecting to look on such objects of pity, while 
we could render them little assistance. 

After five cheerless days we reached Griqua Town, 
where Mr. Sass received us with much feeling, hav¬ 
ing provided houses for our accommodation, and 
sent wagons and oxen to our assistance. Meanwhile, 
Mr. Hamilton was joined by a party of Berend’s men 
from Daniel’s Kuil, who remained for upwaixls of a 
fortnight. On the alarm and apprehensions of the 
people subsiding, Mr. H. came to Griqua Town to 
inform us that all was quiet, and that the Becliuanas 
were anxious for our return. Though a temporary 
tranquillity existed at the Kuruman, the prospect 
before us was dark in the extreme ; and as in case 
of another attack, it was found impossible, from the 
state of affairs among the Griquas, to expect help 
from that quarter, we thought it better not to return 
with our goods to the station. The interior tribes 
were, according to the most authentic information, 
all in commotion, deluging the country with blood, 
appearing to depend for their support on the destruc¬ 
tion of others. The powerful and hitherto invincible 
Bauangketsi were dispersed by a combined force, and 
Makaba had been slain in the midst of heaps of war¬ 
riors. In the south-east, the Batau and Legoyas 
were proceeding in the same destructive course. The 



Wesleyan mission at Makuase was also broken up, 
and the missionaries retired to the Colony. 

Such commotions were unknown within the me¬ 
mory of the oldest native. Tradition could give us 
no parallel. They existed as far northward as our 
knowledge of the tribes extended. It now appeared 
the more evident that had not the Mantatees been 
defeated at Old Lithako, the Bechuana country, 
Griqua Land, and the Orange River, would have 
been svvept of their inhabitants,—the savage con¬ 
querors would have been formidable enemies to the 
Colony, and in all probability would have fallen by 
thousands before the sweeping bomb or rocket,—while 
the scattered remains of the aborigines must either 
have perished in the deserts, or fallen under the iron 
yoke of their neighbours. Many tribes, once power¬ 
ful and prosperous, but now almost extinct, lend 
their testimony to the truth of these remarks, and 
from which we gathered this comfort, that, bad as 
our circumstances were, they might have been worse ; 
and thus, though troubled on every side, we were not 
distressed ; perplexed, but not in despair. 

In the following month I returned with my family 
to join Mr. Hamilton, when the prospect of not being 
able to obtain any thing like grain or vegetables, ren¬ 
dered it necessary for Mr. Hughes to visit the Colony 
for that purpose. The Bechuanas had still consider¬ 
able quantities of native millet, which they were ex¬ 
pecting to reap, but which was greatly injured by 
two dreadful storms of hail passing over a portion of 
their gardens. Such was the noise ol the hail, that 
though there was much lightning, and consequently 
heavy thunder, it was not heard. Although only 

2 F 2 



wliat is called the tail of the storm passed over our 
station, the hail, which was nearly half the size of a 
hen’s egg, barked the trees, and killed some lambs. 

On the 30th of March, 1825, we were deeply 
affected to hear of the death of Peclu, the young 
prince. This unexpected shock threw a gloom over 
the whole tribe, and was, as might have been expected, 
a severe stroke to his parents, who were dotingly 
fond of him, particularly since his visit to the Cape. 
To us it was a mysterious event: we had been pro¬ 
mising ourselves that his excellent disposition and 
comparatively enlightened mind would eventually 
produce a salutary change among his countrymen; 
but God saw fit, for wise reasons, to deprive us of 
that means, that we might not be found trusting in 
an arm of flesh. He died of what is called kuatsi, a 
disease that appears to be endemial, which assumes 
the form of a carbuncle, and carries off many cattle; 
and as the natives will on no account abstain from 
eating the dead meat, they are often attacked by it. 
If it happens to be near a vital part, as in the case of 
Peclu, it is very frequently fatal; if internal and not 
suppurating outwardly, it is always so. The meat 
of goats which have died of this disease is particu¬ 
larly noxious, and I have known persons cut off in 
five days after having eaten it. It is always accom¬ 
panied by considerable swelling, attended with great 
stupor, though with comparatively little pain. I 
write from experience, having had one on my right 
eyebrow, which gave my constitution a severe shock; 
and from its position my recovery was considered 
very doubtful. From long observation, I have found 
it important to give aperient medicines, scarify the 



])ustules, and get some one to suck it, either with an 
instrument or the mouth, and to apply any kind of 
cataplasm to promote a discharge ; it is also important 
as much as possible to prevent the individual from 
being exposed to the cold air. 

In this disorder, as in every other, wdien a person 
of influence is taken ill or dies, the cause is eagerly 
sought after, not in the nature of the disease, but in 
some person wdio was at enmity with the deceased, 
or who had acted in some w^ay to excite suspicion. 
This was very natural in them, as they did not 
believe in an overruling Providence. It was the uni¬ 
versal belief, as well as their wash, that men would 
live ahvay, and that death was entirely the result of 
witchcraft, or medicine imparted by some malignant 
hand, or of some casualty or w^ant of food. The 
death pf the poor excited but little sorrow, and less 
surmise ; on the other hand, I have knowm instances 
when the domestics of a principal man have been 
murdered in cold blood, just because it was suspected 
that they had something to do with their master’s 
sickness. Approaching the abode of a sick chief, 

I was informed by one of his attendants, wdth an 
air of satisfaction, that he would now recover, as 
twm of his servants wdio had been seen scattering 
more (medicine) somewdiere in the neighbourhood of 
his dwelling, had just been speared; and while he 
yet spoke the stifled sighs and moans of their widows 
and children w^ere entering my ears. This chief is 
now'^ a Christian. 

When Peclu died, suspicion fell on the parents of 
his bride, from some little misunderstanding which 
had existed at his mai’riage. They would all have 



been butchered had not the more enlightened views 
of Mahura, the king’s brother, who had received 
orders to carry the bloody purpose into effect, in¬ 
duced him to apprise the chief and his family of their 
danger, that they might flee to the Barolongs, which 
they did. Mahura and his warriors pursued, but de¬ 
termined not to overtake them. As the law of reta¬ 
liation was a principle of jurisprudence recognised 
by the Bechuana rulers, events like those recorded 
were of almost daily recurrence during the first years 
of the mission, but which now rarely happen, even 
for hundreds of miles beyond the missionary stations. 
Thus the Gospel, which has brought the startling 
sound of immortality to the savage ear, exerts, as a 
secondary benefit, a salutary influence even among 
those who do not receive it, and who remain com¬ 
paratively ignorant of its chief requirements. There 
are now instances of judicial inflictions, which, though 
not characterized by the long digested jurisprudence 
of civilized countries, are nevertheless immense im¬ 
provements ; and as the influence of the Gospel ex¬ 
tends, it will transform the dictates of savage ferocity 
into measures suggested by mercy and wisdom. 

Peclu died, and his disconsolate parents and friends 
sorrowed without hope, and, agreeably to their notions, 
hated the sight of the fold in which he was interred, 
the house where he had dwelt, the streets and lanes 
where he was wont to be seen, and indeed every thing 
associated with the beloved object. This prepared 
the people for what followed, for though they had 
returned to the town, the hearts of the relations of 
the deceased longed to abandon it. While witnessing 
these trying and mysterious providences, we were 



often deeply afflicted, to see that all our eflbrts to 
induce them to improve these dispensations were of 
no avail. “ Go and teach the marauders not to 
destroy us,” was constantly thrown in our teeth. 
We much needed Divine grace to enable us to per¬ 
severe ; but it often afforded us strong consolation 
to know that we were remembered in our native 
land ; and that multitudes of voices were ever 
ascending to the throne of God on our behalf. We 
continued our public services, and when the people 
would not come to us we went to them. 

About this time another powerful body from the 
Oi 'ange River, with horses and guns, made an attack 
on the tribes to the westward of our station, and per¬ 
petrated great cruelties. The people again tied in 
consternation, and, at Mothibi’s request, a messenger 
was despatched to Griqua Town, entreating assist¬ 
ance ; but it was not in the power of Waterboer to 
afford it, however willing he might have been to do 
so. As we had suffered greatly both in our health 
and property by the last flight, and as we had 
no confidence in tlie old tale which the natives in¬ 
vented, that the enemy would attack us, we resolved 
to remain at our post. We w^ere encouraged in this 
by the arrival of Mr. Hughes, with Mr. Millen, a 
mason, and a few Hottentots from Bethelsdorp, to 
assist us in the public works of the new station. We 
harricadoed the reed walls of Mr. Hamilton’s house 
with chests and sacks, that, in case of an attack, 
which there was reason to apprehend, we might be in 
some measure shielded from the shot; but, after a few 
days of anxiety and alarm, the enemy dei)arted, con¬ 
tenting themselves with large spoils of cattle. The 



natives had congregated round our temporary dwell¬ 
ings ; and there being no prospect of a termination 
to the distressing inroads from the Orange River 
and Long Mountains, the people finally resolved to 
abandon the station. The Bushmen having taken 
many of their cattle, they appeared inclined to for¬ 
sake the Kuruman River altogether. The arrival of 
the six men and their families, under these circum¬ 
stances, rendered our situation peculiarly trying, from 
the want of supplies to support them, especially in 
a country where nothing could be purchased. A 
hunter was employed to obtain game, while every 
thing, animate and inanimate, calculated in any mea¬ 
sure to appease hunger, was ravenously seized for 
that purpose, in order to prosecute our plan of 
building the houses, and leading out the water from 
the bed of the river, supplied by one of the finest 
fountains in South Africa. This was a work of great 
labour, and carried forward under the most embar¬ 
rassing circumstances. Such was the liability to 
attack, that the men, though labouring not half a 
mile from our dwellings, found it necessary to take 
their guns with them for fear of a surprise. Our 
large water-ditch, extending nearly two miles, w^as 
indeed dug, as the walls of our houses had been built, 
“ in troublous times.” 

The accompanying sketch gives a correct view of 
Gasigonyane or Kuruman fountain. It issues from 
caverns in a little hill, wdiich is composed of blue and 
grey limestone, mixed with considerable quantities of 
flint, but not in nodules as found in beds of chalk. 
From the appearance of the caves, and the irregularity 
of the strata, one might be led to suppose they have 



been tlie results of internal convulsions. The water, 
which is pure and wholesome, is rather calcareous. 
It is evident that its source must be at a very great 
distance, as all the rains which fall on the hills and 
plains for forty miles round, in one year, could not 
possibly supply such a stream for one month. Al¬ 
though there are no sandstone formations nearer than 
thirty miles, great quantities of exceedingly fine sand 
come from it, and it appears to boil up out of the 
smaller springs in front of the larger, and is to be 
found in deposit in the bed of the river for miles 
distant. The substratum of the whole of the country, 
as far as the Orange River, is compact limestone, 
which in some of the Hamhana hills rises consider¬ 
ably above the neighbouring plain ; but these only 
form the basis of argillaceous hills and iron-schist, 
on the top of which the compass moves at ran¬ 
dom, or according to the position in wdiich it is 
placed. The strata of these schistose formations are 
often found to bend and curve into all shapes, fre¬ 
quently exhibiting an appearance of golden asbestos, 
but extremely hard. The common blue asbestos is 
to be found at Gamaperi, in the neighbourhood, the 
same as that found near the Orange River. The 
limestone extends to Old Lithako, where there are 
hills of basalt and primitive limestone ; among w hich 
masses of serpentine rock, of various colours, usually 
called pipe-stone, are to be met wdth. Beyond the 
Batlapi dominions, towards the Molapo, there is 
abundance of granite green stone, etc., while the lime¬ 
stone foundation, towards the west, terminates among 
the sandy wilds of the southern Zahara. Fountains, 
througliout the whole extent of the limestone basin. 



are precarious, independent of the causes described in 
a preceding chapter; nor does that of the Kuruinan 
continue to send forth the torrents it once did. The 
calcareous effects of the water on the roots of reeds, 
and other substances, in the neighbourhood of small 
fountains, show that they were once very large. 
That of the Kuruman River, which, like many others 
in South Africa, is largest at its source, is, by evapo¬ 
ration and absorption, lost in its bed, about ten miles 
to the north-west. The Matluarin, Mashaua, and 
Molapo, join the Kuruman, which was once a large 
river, emptying itself into the Gariep, at a distance 
below the waterfall. 

During this period we were the subjects of great 
domestic afflictions. Five days after Mrs. M.’s con¬ 
finement of a boy, he was removed by death, and his 
remains were the first committed to the burying 
ground on the new station. JMr. Hughes, who began 
early to feel the effects of the climate, caught cold, 
while removine: fruit-trees from the lower station to 


his garden, and was brought to the very gates of 
death. AVhen, however, we had all given him up he 
began to amend ; but such was the shock that his 
frame received from the severity of the disease, that 
his perfect recovery continued for a long time very 
doubtful; nor did he regain his wonted strength until 
he had made a visit to the coast, on account, of Mrs. 
Hughes’s health; after which he removed to the 
Griqua mission, in 1827, where he has since laboured 
with success. 

Our situation during the infancy of the new station, 
I sliall not attempt to describe, though it miglit 
yield some profitable suggestions to those who may be 



similarly situated. Some of our newly arrived assistants, 
finding themselves in a country where the restraints of 
law were unknown, and not being under the influence 
of religion, would not submit to the privations which we 
patiently endured, but murmured exceedingly. Armed 
robbers were continually making inroads, threatening 
death and extirpation. We were compelled to work 
daily at every species of labour, most of which was 
very heavy, under a burning sun, and in a dry climate, 
where only one shower had fallen during the preceding 
twelve months. These are only imperfect samples of 
our engagements for several years at the new station, 
while at the same time, the language, which was en¬ 
tirely oral, had to be acquired. A spelling-book, 
catechism, and small portions of Scripture, were pre¬ 
pared, and even sent to the Cape to be printed in 
1825; but, as if our measure of disappointment was 
not full, they were by some mistake sent to England, 
and before they could possibly return to our station, 
we might have had several improved editions. 

The infection of war and plunder was such, that 
scarcely a tribe or town in the whole country was 
exempt. The Batlapis, who of all the neighbouring 
tribes had suffered the least, owing to their proximity 
to our station, instead of being thankful for this, 
authorized one of their number, the king’s brother, 
to go with a body of warriors and attack the out-posts 
of the Bauangketsi. They proceeded as far as the 
Barolongs, where they met with the Chief Gontse, 
who received and fed them, being related to the royal 
family of the Batlapis. Gontse, who was an amiable 
and sensible man, dissuaded them from such a daring 
attempt, which could only terminate in their destruc- 



tion. The chief of the party, convinced of this, 
resolved on returning; but watching an opportunity, 
when the cattle of the town where they had received 
such hos})itality and good counsel had gone to the 
fields, seized on them, and having two or three guns, 
compelled their owners to flee. Elated with the suc¬ 
cess of this disgraceful achievement, they returned to 
the neighbourhood of our station. We said nothing 
on the subject, except that our hearts were sad. The 
chief of this hand of robbers, induced his brother, 
Mothibi, to convene a public meeting, in order to 
make a kind of bravado. Spies and sycophants had 
been sent to hear our judgment on this subject, hut 
they learned nothing more or less than that ‘ ‘ we were 
sorry.” This having displeased him, after pointing 
out to the audience, that we missionaries were the only 
human beings in the world who did not steal cattle, 
he declared that, instead of being thereby awed, he 
would show them and the tribes around, that if his 
name had hitherto been Molala, (poor,) henceforth he 
would be a lion, and such should he his name. Thus 
he spoke, and departed with a company to hunt. One 
afternoon, seeing a giraffe in the distance, he seized 
his spear, mounted his horse, and ordered his at¬ 
tendant to follow with his gun on another. The 
master being on the swuftest animal, and evening 
coming on, he disappeared on the undulating plain, 
and the servant returned to the rendezvous. Next 
day, the latter, with some companions, pursued the 
trail, found where his master had come up with the 
giraffe, and appeared to have make attempts to stab 
it, and then, from the course he took, it was evident 
he had wandered. They slept, and with the returning 



day continued to pursue his footmarks, Vvdiich in the 
evening brought them to a spot where a number of 
lions had been. Beside a bush, where they supposed 
the chieftain had laid himself down the second night, 
they found the horse, killed by the lions, but scarcely 
touched, while the man, his clothes, shoes, saddle and 
bridle, were eaten up, and nothing left but the cra¬ 
nium. What was rather remarkable, the master, seeing 
he was leaving his servant in the rear, turned about 
and gave him his tinder-box, for fear of losing it him¬ 
self. Had he retained this, he mnght have made a 
fire, which would have protected him from the lions, 
and led to his earlier discovery. This event was too 
striking to be overlooked by the people, who had 
frequently heard of a Divine Providence, but they were 
silent, and endeavoured to relieve their minds, by 
driving from their memories the visage and vain boast¬ 
ings of him, who had been devoured by the very beast 
of prey whose name and powers were to be his motto, 
and the characteristics of his future actions. 

The Batlapis continued extremely unsettled; in¬ 
deed, the whole country appeared like the ocean in 
a storm;—its inhabitants like the waves, alternately 
rolling forward, and receding, carrying with them 
devastation and misery. Numerous successful com¬ 
mandos from the south wore out the spirits of the 
natives, and compelled them to lead a vagrant life, 
ready to start on the first alarm. Some of our 
Hottentot assistants also left us in the midst of our 
labours, and eventually a report coming from Griqua- 
land, that Waterboer and Cornelius Kok, despairing 
of aid from the Colony, had joined the marauders, 
all were alarmed; and although we were able to 



convince them that the reports were unfounded, we 
coidd not allay their I’ears, so that even one who had 
formerly, by his Christian conduct, been a source of 
comfort, as well as an assistance in our work, aban¬ 
doned us also. Thus we were left, but were still 
wonderfully supported, realizing the fulfilment of the 
gracious promise, “As thy days, so shall thy strength 
be.” Some of the poorer Bechuanas had learned 
a little of wagon driving, and other useful things, 
so that we could occasionally get some assistance 
from them. 

After several years of drought, we had, in tlie 
early part of 1826, been blessed with plentiful rains, 
and the earth was speedily covered with verdure; 
but our hopes of abundance were soon cut off by 
swarms of locusts, which infested every part of the 
country, devouring every species of vegetation. They 
had not been seen for more than twenty years be¬ 
fore, but have never entirely left the country since. 
They might be seen passing over like an immense 
cloud, extending from tlie earth to a considerable 
height, producing, with their wings, a great noise. 
They always proceed nearly in the direction of the 
wind, those in advance descending to eat any thing 
they light upon, and rising in the rear, as the cloud 
advances. “ They have no king, but they go forth, 
all of them, by bands,” and are gathered together in 
one place in the evening, where they rest, and from 
their immense numbers they weigh down the shrubs, 
and lie at times one on the other, to the depth of 
several inches. In the morning, when the sun begins 
to diffuse warmth, they take wing, leaving a large 
extent without one vestige of verdure ; even the })lants 



and shrul)s are barked. Wherever they halt for the 
night, or alight during the day, they become a prey 
to other animals, and are eaten not only by beasts 
of prey, but by all kinds of game, serpents, lizards, 
and frogs. When passing through the air, kites, 
vultures, crows, and particularly the locust bird, as 
it is called, may be seen devouring them. When a 
swarm alights on gardens, or even fields, the crop 
for one season is destroyed. I have observed a field 
of young maize devoured in the space of two hours. 
They eat not only tobacco, and every thing vegetable, 
but also flannel and linen. The natives embrace 
every opportunity of gathering them, which can be 
done during the night. Whenever the cloud alights 
at a place not very distant from a town, the inhabit¬ 
ants turn out with sacks, and often with pack-oxen, 
gather loads, and return the next day with millions. 
It has happened that, in gathering them, individuals 
have been bitten by serpents ; and on one occasion a 
woman had been travelling several miles with a large 
bundle of locusts on her head, when a serpent, which 
had been put into the sack with them, found its way 
out. The woman supposing it to be a thong dangling 
about her shoulders, laid hold of it with her hand, 
and feeling that it was alive, instantly precipitated 
both to the ground, and fled. The locusts are pre¬ 
pared for eating, by simple boiling, or rather steaming, 
as they are put into a large pot with a little water, 
and covered closely up ; after boiling for a short time, 
they are taken out and spread on mats in the sun to 
dry, when they are winnowed, something like corn, 
to clear them of their legs and wings ; and when per¬ 
fectly dry, are put into sacks, or laid upon the house 



floor in a hoop. The natives eat them whole, adding 
a little salt when they can obtain it; or they pound 
them in a wooden mortar, and when they have reduced 
them to something like meal, they mix them with a 
little water, and make a kind of cold stir-about. 

When locusts abound, the natives become quite 
fat, and would even reward any old lady who said 
that she had coaxed them to alidit within reach of 
the inhabitants. They are^, on the whole, not had 
food; and when hunger has made them palatable, are 
eaten as matter of course. When well fed they are 
almost as good as shrimps. There is a species not 
eatable, with reddish wings, rather larger than those 
described, and which, though less numerous, are 
more destructive. The exploits of these armies, fear¬ 
ful as they are, bear no comparison to the devasta¬ 
tion they make before they are able to fly, in which 
state they are called boyane.” They receive a new 
name in every stage of their growth, till they reach 
maturity, when they are called “ letsie.” They never 
emerge from the sand, where they were deposited as 
eggs, till rain has fallen to raise grass for the young 
progeny. In their course, from which nothing can 
divert them, they aj^pear like a dark red stream^ 
extending often more than a mile broad; and from 
their incessant hopping, the dust appears as if alive. 
Nothing but a broad and raj^id torrent could arrest 
their progress, and that only by drowning them; 
and if one reached the opposite shore, it would 
keep the original direction. A small rivulet avails 
nothing, as they swim dexterously. A line of tire is 
no barrier, as they leap into it till it is extinguished, 
and the others walk over the dead. Walls and 

2 G 



450 • 


houses form no impediment; they climb the very 
chimneys, either obliquely or straight over such ob¬ 
stacles, just as their instinct leads them. All other 
earthly powers, from the fiercest lion to a mar¬ 
shalled army, are nothing compared with these di¬ 
minutive insects. The course they have followed 
is stripped of every leaf or blade of verdure. It is 
enough to make the inhabitants of a village turn pale 
to hear that they are coming in a straight line to 
their gardens. When a country is not extensive, and 
is bounded by the sea, the scourge is soon over, the 
winds carrying them away like clouds to the watery 
waste, where they alight to rise no more. Thus the 
immense flights which pass to the south and east, 
rarely return, but fresh supplies are always pouring 
down from the north. All human endeavours to 
diminish their numbers, would appear like attempt¬ 
ing to drain the ocean by a pump. 

We could not, however, feel otherwise than thank¬ 
ful for this visitation, on account of the poor; for as 
many thousands of cattle had been taken from the 
natives, and gardens to an immense extent destroyed, 
many hundreds of families, but for the locusts, must 
have perished with hunger. It was not surprising 
that our scanty supplies^ which we were compelled 
to procure from a distance, were seized by the hun¬ 
gry people. If our oxen or calves were allowed to 
wander out of sight, they were instantly stolen. One 
day two noted fellows from the mountains came down 
on a man who had the charge of our cattle, murdered 
him, and ran off with an ox. Some time before, the 
whole of our calves disappeared ; two of our men 
went in pursuit, and found in the ruins of an old 



town the remains of the calves laid aside for future 
use. On tracing the footmarks to a secluded spot 
near the river, they found the thieves, two desperate- 
looking characters, who, seizing their bows and poi¬ 
soned arrows, dared their approach. It would have 
been easy for our men to have shot them on the spot, 
hut their only object was to bring them, if possible, 
to the station. After a dangerous scuffle, one fled, 
and the other precipitated himself into a pool of 
water, amidst reeds, where he stood menacing the 
men with his drawn bow, till they at last succeeded 
in seizing him. He was brought to the station, with 
some of the meat, which, though not killed in the 
most delicate manner, was acceptable, and was the 
first veal we ever ate there ; for calves are too valuable 
in that country to be slaughtered, not only because 
they perpetuate the supply of milk from the cow, but 
are reared to use in travelling and agriculture. 

The prisoner had a most forbidding appearance, 
and we could not help regarding him as a being 
brutalized by hunger; and, in addition to a defect 
in vision, he looked like one capable of perpetrating 
any action without remorse. His replies to our 
queries and expostulations, were something like the 
growlings of a disappointed hungry beast of prey. 
There were no authorities in the country to which we 
could appeal, and the conclusion to which the people 
came, was to inflict a little castigation, while one of 
the natives was to whisper in his ear, that he must 
flee for his life. Seeing a young man drawing near 
witli a gun, he took to his heels, and the man firing 
a charge of loose powder after him, increased his 
terror, and made him bound into the marsh, and flee 

2 G 2 



to the opposite side, thinking himself well off to have 
escaped with his life, which he could not have ex¬ 
pected from his own countrymen. He lived for a 
time at a neighbouring village, where he was wont 
to describe, in graphic style, his narrow escape, and 
how he had outrun the musket-balh When told by 
some one that the gun was only to frighten him, he 
saw that it must have been so ; he reasoned on our 
character, made inquiries, and, from our men sparing 
him in the first instance, and ourselves giving him 
food, and allowing him to run off after he had re¬ 
ceived a few strokes with a thong, he concluded that 
there must be something very merciful about our 
character; and at last he made his appearance again 
on our station. He was soon after employed as a 
labourer, embraced the Gospel, and has, through 
Divine grace, continued to make a consistent profes¬ 
sion, and is become an example of intelligence, in¬ 
dustry, and love. 


Visit to the Barolongs—An interview with lions—Narrow escape— 
Fresh visitors—A lion’s meal—Arrive at Choang—Company and 
assistance—IManner of life—Rhinoceroses—A night hunt—Kinds 
of game—Swift runners—Depravity of the natives—A cruel prac¬ 
tice—The smith’s shop—Wire-drawing—A royal visitor—Re¬ 
turn to the station. 

In the end of the year 182G, having removed into 
oar new habitation, and the state of the country 
being somewhat more tranquil, a journey was re¬ 
solved on to the Barolongs, near the Malapo, in order 
to attend exclusively to the language, which hitherto 
it had not been possible to do, owing to the succes¬ 
sion of manual labour connected with commencing a 
new station, when the missionaries must he at the be¬ 
ginning, middle, and end of eAmry thing. Mr. Hamil¬ 
ton, who felt that his advanced age was a serious 
harrier to his acquisition of the language, was anxious 
for my progress, and cheerfully undertook the entire 
labours of the station for a short season, preaching 
to the Batlapis in the neighbourhood, and keeping 
up public seiwice for the few on the station. Two 
attempts had been previously made for this very pur¬ 
pose, hut I had not long left the place before, in both 
instances, I was recalled on account of threatened 
attacks. As it was taking a new position among a 



wild people, a brief glance at my manner of life 
may yield information, and interest the mind of the 

Having put my wagon in order, taken a driver, 
and a little boy as leader of the oxen, and two Baro- 
longs, who were going to the same place, I left the 
station, my wife and family, for an absence of two or 
three months. Our journey lay over a wild and 
dreary country, inhabited by Balalas only, and but 
a sprinkling of these. On the night of the third 
day’s journey, having halted at a pool (Khokhole,) 
we listened, on the lonely plain, for the sound of an 
inhabitant, but all was silent. We could discover no 
lights, and, amid the darkness, were unable to trace 
footmarks to the pool. We let loose our wearied 
oxen to drink and graze, but as we were ignorant of 
the character of the company with which we might 
have to spend the night, we took a firebrand, and 
examined the edges of the pool, to see, from the im¬ 
prints, what animals were in the habit of drinking 
there, and, with terror, discovered many spoors of 
lions. We immediately collected the oxen, and 
brought them to the wagon, to which we fastened 
them with the strongest thongs we had, having dis¬ 
covered in their appearance something rather wild, 
indicating that, either from scent or sight, they knew 
danger was near. The two Barolongs had brought 
a young cow with them, and though I recommended 
their making her fast also, they very humorously re¬ 
plied that she was too wise to leave the wagon and 
oxen, even though a lion should be scented. We 
took a little supper, which was followed bv our 
evening hymn, and prayer. I had retired only a 


i'ew minutes to my ^Yagon to prepare for the night, 
when the whole of the oxen started to their feet. A 
lion had seized the cow only a few steps from their 
tails, and dragged it to the distance of thirty or forty 
yards, where we distinctly heard it tearing the animal, 
and breaking the bones, while its bellowings were 
most pitiful. When these were over, I seized my 
gun, but as it was too dark to see any object at half 
the distance, I aimed at the spot where the devouring 
jaws of the lion were heard. I fired again and again, 
to which he replied with tremendous roars, at the 
same time making a rush towards the wagon, so as 
exceedingly to terrify the oxen. The two Barolongs 
engaged to take firebrands, advance a few yards, and 
throw them at him, so as to afford me a degree of 
light, that I might take aim, the place being bushy. 
They had scarcely discharged them from their hands 
when the flame went out, and the enraged animal 
rushed towards them with such swiftness, that I had 
barely time to turn the gun and fire between the 
men and the lion, and providentially the ball struck 
the ground immediately under his head, as we found 
by examination the following morning. From this 
surprise he returned, growling fearfully. The men 
dclrted through some thorn-bushes, with countenances 
indicative of the utmost terror. It was now the opi¬ 
nion of all that we had better let him alone if he did 
not molest us. 

Having but a scanty supply of wood to keep up a 
fire, one man crept among the bushes on one side of 
the pool, while I proceeded for the same purpose on 
the other side. I had not gone far, when, looking 
u})ward to the edge of the small basin, I discerned 



between me and tlie sky four animals, whose attention 
appeared to be directed to me, by the noise I made in 
breaking a dry stick. On closer inspection, I found 
that the large, round, hairy-headed visitors were 
lions ; and retreated on my hands and feet towards 
the other side of the pool, when coming to my 
wagon-driver, to inform him of our danger, I found 
him looking, with no little alarm, in an opposite di¬ 
rection, and with good reason, as no fewer than two 
lions, with a cub, were eyeing us both, apparently 
as uncertain about us as we were distrustful of them. 
They appeared^ as they always do in the dark, tvdce 
the usual size. We thankfully decamped to the 
wagon, and sat down to keep alive our scanty fire, 
while we listened to the lion tearing and devouring 
his prey. When any of the other hungry lions dared 
to approach, he would pursue them for some paces, 
with a horrible howl, which made our poor oxen 
tremble, and produced anything but agreeable sensa¬ 
tions in ourselves. We had reason for alarm, lest 
any of the six lions we saw, fearless of our small 
fire, might rush in among us. The two Barolongs 
were grudging the lion his fat meal, and w^ould now 
and then break the silence with a deep sigh, and 
expressions of regret that such a vagabond lion 
should have such a feast on their cow, which they 
anticipated would have afforded them many a draught 
of luscious milk. Before the day dawned, having 
deposited nearly the whole of the carcase in his sto¬ 
mach, he collected the head, backbone, parts of the 
legs, the paunch, which he emptied of its contents, 
and the two clubs which had been thrown at him, 
and walked off, leaving nothing but some fragments 


A lion’s meal. 

of bones, and one of mv balls, ^^llicll bad bit the 
carcase instead of himself. 

When it was light we examined the spot, and 
toimd from the foot-marks, that the lion was a large 
one, and had devoured the cow himself. I had some 
difficulty in believing this, but was fully convinced 
by the Barolongs pointing out to me that the foot¬ 
marks of the other lions had not come within thirty 
3vards of the spot; two jackals only had approached 
to lick up any little leavings. The men pursued the 
spoor to find the fragments, where the lion had de¬ 
posited them, while he retired to a thicket to sleep 
during the day. I had often heard how much a 
large, hungry lion could eat, but nothing less than 
a demonstration would have convinced me that it 
was ])ossible for him to have eaten all the flesh of a 
good heifer, and many of the bones, for scarcely a 
rib was left, and even some of the marrow-bones 
were broken as if with a hammer. 

Having discovered a small village on a neighbour¬ 
ing height, although it was the Sabbath, w^e thought 
it quite right and lawful to inyoke our oxen, and 
leave a s])ot haunted with something worse than 
ghosts. When we told our tale to the natives, they 
expressed no surprise whatever, but only regretted 
that the lion should have had such a feast, wdiile 
they were so hungry. These peo])le were, as their 
name ‘‘ Balala” signifies, poor indeed, and never 
before having either seen or heard a missionary, they 
exhibited melancholy jiroofs of human depi’avity and 
})alpable ignorance. I talked long to them, to con¬ 
vince them that there was something far superior 
to eating and drinking, which ought to command our 



attention. This was to them inexplicable, while the 
description I gave of the character of God, and our 
sinful and helpless condition, amused them only, and 
extorted some expressions of sympathy, that a Khosi 
king, as they called me, should talk such foolishness. 

Leaving this village, after travelling for two days 
in a north-north-east direction over a plain country, 
passing Mothothobo, and other dry river beds, where 
one would suppose water had not flowed for the last 
thousand years, we reached Choaing as it is called, 
from Lechoai, (salt,) and halted at the village of 
Bogachu^ a Barolong chief, a very intelligent young 
man, with whom I had some previous acquaintance. 
At this place, and at Setabeng, about twenty miles 
distant, where a great number of Barolongs and 
Batlaros dwelt, I spent ten weeks, attending to the 
language. There was certainly neither personal 
comfort nor pleasure to be had during my stay, 
being compelled to live a semi-savage life, among hea¬ 
thenish dance and song, and immeasurable heaps of 
dirt and filth. It was not a proper town, but a com¬ 
paratively temporary abode, to which the people had 
fled from the attacks made on the Batlapis by Jacob 
Cloete and his followers. People in this situation, 
and indeed all living a nomade life, become extremely 
filthy in their habits. My object being to obtain as 
much native society as possible, to which they had 
not the shadow of an objection, I was necessarily, 
while sitting with them at their work in their folds 
and inclosures, exposed to myriads of very unpleasant 
company, which made the night worse than the day. 
The people were kind, and my blundering in the lan¬ 
guage gave rise to many bursts of laughter. Never, 



in one instance, would an individual correct a word or 
sentence, till he or she had mimicked the original 
so effectually, as to give great merriment to others. 
They appeared delighted with my company, especially 
as I could, when meat was scarce, take my gun and 
shoot a rhinoceros, or some other animal, when a 
night of feasting and talking, as if they had had a 
barrel of spirits among them, would follow. They 
thought themselves quite lucky in having such com¬ 
pany as one who could supply them occasionally 
with both food and medicine. 

Bogachu^ whom I might call my host, daily allowed 
me a little milk for tea. He was an interesting 
character, and though not tall, had great dignity about 
his person, as well as much politeness of manner. 
As the people had no gardens, the women had very 
little to do, and they considered it quite a luxury to 
spend a couple of hours in noisy and often deafen¬ 
ing conversation at my wagon. Every opportunity 
was gladly embraced in which I conld impart in¬ 
struction to the people of the different villages 
around, which were inhabited by Barolongs, Bamairis, 
and some Bahurutsi refugees from Kurrechane. My 
preaching and speaking did indeed appear to he 
casting seed by the wayside or on the flinty rock, 
while they would gravely ask, if I were in earnest, 
and believed that there was such a Being as I de¬ 
scribed. It was indeed painful to hear them turning 
the theme of man’s redemption and the Cross into 
ridicule, and making a sport of immortality. 

The people, to please me, would assemble on the 
Sabbath, as I told them I could not he hap])y without 
telling them about their souls and another world. 



One clay, while describing the day of judgment, 
several of my hearers expressed great concern at the 
idea of all their cattle being destroyed, together with 
their ornaments. They never for one moment allow 
their thoughts to dwell on death, which is, according 
to their views, nothing less than annihilation. Their 
supreme happiness consists in having abundance of 
meat. Asking a man who was more grave and 
thoughtful than his companions, what was the finest 
sight he could desire, he instantly replied, “A great 
hre covered with pots full of meat;” adding, “how 
ugly the fire looks without a pot !”* 

My situation was not very well suited for study, 
among a noisy rabble and a constant influx of beggars. 
Writing was a work of great difficulty, owing to the 
flies crowding into the inkhorn or clustering round 
the point of the pen, and pursuing it on the paper, 
drinking the ink as fast as it flowed. The night 
brought little relief, for as soon as the candle was 
lighted, innumerable insects swarmed around so as to 
put it out. When I had occasion to hunt, in order 
to supply the wants of myself and people, a troop of 
men would follow, and as soon as a rhinoceros or 
any other animal was shot, a fire was made, and some 
would be roasting, while the others would be cutting 
and tearing away at the ponderous carcase, which was 
soon dissected. During these operations they would 
exhibit all the gestures of heathenish joy, making an 
uproar as if a town were on fire. I do not wonder 
that Mr. Campbell once remarked on a similar occa- 

* A roiigli kind of earthenware made hy all the Bechiiana tribes, 
and which stands the fire well. 



sion, that from their noise and gestures lie did not 
know his travelling companions. Having once shot 
a rhinoceros, the men surrounded it with roaring 
congratulation. In vain I shouted that it was not 
dead—a dozen spears were thrust into it, when up 
started the animal in a fury, and tearing up the ground 
with his horn, made every one fly in terror. These 
animals were very numerous in this part of the coun¬ 
try ; they are not gregarious, more than four or flve 
being seldom seen together, though I once observed 
nine following each other to the water. They fear no 
enemy but man, and are fearless of him when wounded 
and pursued. The lion flies before them like a cat; 
the mohohu, the largest species, has been known even 
to kill the elephant, by thrusting his horn into his 
ribs. This genus is called by the Bechuanas, chukuru; 
and the four distinct species have more than once 
been pointed out to me when they have all been within 
sight, the mohohu, kheitlua, and the horila or ken- 
engyane.^' The last, though the smallest with the 
shortest horns, is the most fierce, and consequently 
they are the last that retire from populous regions, 
while the other species, owing to their more timid 
habits, seek the recesses of the interior wilds. 

Being in want of food, and not liking to spend 
a harassing day, exposed to a hot sun, on a thirsty 
plain, in quest of a steak, I went one night, accom- 
l)anied by two men, to the water whence the supply 

* Not liaving brought with me my memoranda of names, charac¬ 
ter and instincts of game, I cannot recall the name of the fourth, 
which is distinguished from the Tiheitliia by the position of its cars 
and the formation of its head. There arc also other marks by 
which the natives distinguish them. 



for the town was obtained, as well as where the cattle 
came to drink. We determined to lie in a hollow spot 
near the fountain, and shoot the first object which 
might come within our reach. It was half moonlight, 
and rather cold, though the days were warm. We 
remained for a couple of hours, waiting with great 
anxiety for something to appear. We at length 
heard a loud lapping at the water, under the dark 
shadowy bank, within twenty yards of us. “What 
is that 1 asked Bogachu. “ Ririmala,” (be silent,) 
he said ; “ there are lions, they will hear us.” A hint 
was more than enough ; and thankful were we, that, 
when they had drunk, they did not come over the 
smooth grassy surface in our direction. Our next 
visitors were two buffalos, one immensely large. My 
wagon-driver, Mosi, who also had a gun, seeing them 
coming directly towards us, begged me to fire. I 
refused, having more dread of a wounded buffalo than 
of almost any other animal. He fired ; and though the 
animal was severely wounded, he stood like a statue 
with his companion, within a hundred yards of us, for 
more than an hour, waiting to see us move, in order 
to attack us. We lay in an awkwmrd position for 
that time, scarcely daring to whisper; and when he 
at last retired we were so stiff with cold, that flight 
would have been impossible had an attack been made. 
We then moved about till our blood began to circu¬ 
late. Our next visitors were two giraffes ; one of 
these we wounded. A troop of quaggas next came ; 
but the successful instinct of the principal stallion, in 
surveying the precincts of the water, galloping round 
in all directions to catch any strange scent, and re¬ 
turning to the troop with a whistling noise, to an- 



nounce clanger, set them off at full speed. The next 
was a huge rhinoceros, which receiving a mortal 
wound, departed. Hearing the approach of more lions, 
we judged it best to leave ; and after a lonely walk 
of four miles through bushes, hyenas and jackals, 
we reached the village, when I felt thankful, resolving 
never to hunt by night at a water-pool, till I could 
find nothing to eat elsewhere. Next day the rhino¬ 
ceros and buffalo were found, which afforded a plen¬ 
tiful supply. 

While spending ten days with the Barolongs at 
Kongke, among several thousands of people, under 
the chiefs Molala, Mochuara, and Gontse, I had an 
opportunity of witnessing the swiftness of some of the 
natives. Two stately giraffes having got out of their 
usual heat, came sailing along through the tall 
acacias, till, discovering the abodes of men, they 
turned their course, and were soon pursued by some 
young men, who not only came up to them, hut were 
successful in killing one. This is a feat rarely at¬ 
tempted, except with a horse; and sometimes even 
tliat animal fails to overtake them. 

During my sojourn among this portion of the Ba¬ 
rolongs, I had no little difficulty in obtaining a hearing 
when I wished to talk to them about their eternal 
interests. Molala was a complete heathen, and had 
obtained his riches, as well as his influence, by in¬ 
trigue and rapine. I was in the habit of concluding 
from facts, about which I have not deemed it neces¬ 
sary to he very minute, that the Batlapis were, as a 
people, not only very ignorant and de})raved, hut ex¬ 
ceedingly brutal: however, a short stay among the 
13arolongs convinced me that the latter far exceeded 



the former. An intelligent, traveller,* who sojourned 
for a time among the Batlapis, was not mistaken 
when he was obliged, most reluctantly, to come to 
the conclusion, that “ the foulest blot on their cha¬ 
racter is the indifterence with which murder is viewed 
among them. It excites little sensation, excepting 
in the family of the person who has been murdered; 
and brings, it is said, no disgrace upon him who has 
committed it; nor uneasiness, excepting the fear of 
their revenge. Shall we not hesitate to assert that 
human nature is superior to the brute creation, when 
we find among this people instances of the fact, that 
the shedding of human blood, without the pretext of 
provocation or offence, and even by the basest trea¬ 
chery, has fixed no infamy upon the perpetrator of 
so awful a crime; and rarely drawn upon him any 
punishment from the chief authority: an authority 
which the Giver of power intrusts to mortal hands, 
only for the weak, and for the common good ? Such^ 
at least, are the sentiments which they express, and 
such were their replies to my questions on this 

During my stay at Kongke, an instance occurred 
confirming the view of Dr. Burchell. A man was 
quarrelling with his wife about a very trifling affair, 
when, in a fit of rage, he grasped his spear, and laid 
her at his feet a bleeding corpse ! Here there were no 
coroners nor jury to take cognizance of the fact, and 
he walked about without a blush, while the lifeless 
body was dragged out to be devoured by the hyena. 
When I endeavoured to represent to the chiefs, with 


Dr. Burcliell. 


whom I was familiar, as old acquaintances, the mag¬ 
nitude of such crimes, they laughed, I might say 
inordinately, at the horror I felt for the murder of a 
woman by her own husband ! 

A custom prevails among all the Bechuanas whom 
I have visited, of removing to a distance from the 
towns and villages persons who have been wounded. 
Two young men, who had been wounded by the poi¬ 
soned arrows of the Bushmen, were thus removed 
from the Kuruman. Having visited them, to admi¬ 
nister relief, I made inquiries, but could learn no 
reason, except that it was a custom. This unnatural 
practice exposed the often helpless invalid to great 
danger ; for, if not well attended during the night, his 
paltry little hut, or rather shade from the sun and 
wind, would be assailed by the hyena or lion. A ca¬ 
tastrophe of this kind occurred a short time before 
my arrival among the Barolongs. The son of one 
of the principal chiefs, a tine young man, had been 
wounded by a butfalo ; he was, according to custom, 
placed on the outside of the village till he should re¬ 
cover ; a portion of food was daily sent, and a person 
appointed to make his fire for the evening. The fire 
went out; and the helpless man, notwithstanding his 
piteous cries, was carried off hy the lion, and de¬ 
voured. Some might think that this practice origin¬ 
ated in the treatment of infectious diseases, such as 
leprosy; but the only individual I ever saw thus 
affected, was not separated. This disease, though 
often found among slaves in the Colony, is unknown 
among the tribes in the interior, and therefore they 
have no name for it. 

Among the diffei’ent tribes congregated in this wil- 

2 II 


THE smith’s shop. 

derness part of the world, the Bahurutsian refugees 
were the most interesting and industrious. Having 
occasion to mend the linchpin of my wagon, I in¬ 
quired for a native smith, when a respectable and 
rather venerable man with one eye, was pointed out. 
Observing, from the cut of his hair, that he was a 
foreigner, and inquiring where,he practised his trade, 
I was alfected to hear him reply, I am a Mohurutsi, 
from Kurrechane.” I accompanied him to his shop, 
in an open yard at the back of his house. The whole 
of his implements consisted of two small goat-skins 
for bellows, some small broken pots for crucibles, a 
few round green stone boulders for his anvil, a hammer 
made of a small piece of iron about three-quarters of 
an inch thick, and rather more than two by three 
inches square, with a handle in a hole in the centre, 
a cold chisel, two or three other shapeless tools, and 
a heap of charcoal. “ I am not an iron-smith,” he 
said; “ I work in copper,” showing me some of his 
copper and brass ornaments, consisting of ear-rings, 
arm-rings, etc. I told him I only wanted wind and 
fire. He sat down between his two goat-skins, and 
puffed away. (Seepage 117.) Instead of using his 
tongs, made of the bark of a tree, I went for my own. 
When he saw them he gazed in silent admiration; he 
turned them over and over; he had never seen such 
ingenuity, and pressed them to his chest, giving me 
a most expressive look, which was as intelligible as 
“Will you give them to me?” My work was soon 
done, when he entered his hut, from which he brought 
a piece of flat iron, begging me to pierce it with a 
number of different sized holes, for the purpose of 
drawing copper and brass wire. Requesting to see 



the old one, it was produced, accompanied by the 
feeling declaration, “ It is from Kurrecliane.” Having 
examined his manner of using it, and formed a toler¬ 
able idea of the thing he wanted, I set to work ; and 
finding his iron too soft for piercing holes through 
nearly an half-inch iron plate, I took the oldest of my 
two handsaw files to make a punch, which I had to 
repair many times. After much labour, and a long 
time spent, I succeeded in piercing about twenty 
holes, from the eighth of an inch to the thickness of 
a thread. The moment the work was completed, he 
grasped it, and breaking out into exclamations of sur¬ 
prise, bounded over the fence like an antelope, and 
danced about the village like a Merry-Andrew, exhi¬ 
biting his treasure to every one, and asking if they ever 
saw any thing like it. Next day I told him, that as we 
were brothers of one trade, (for, among the Africans, 
arts, though in their infancy, have their secrets too,) 
he must show me the whole process of melting cop¬ 
per, making brass, and drawing wire. The broken 
pot or crucible, containing a quantity of copper and 
a little tin, was presently fixed in the centre of a 
charcoal fire. He then applied his bellows till the 
contents were fused. He had previously prepared 
a heap of sand, slightly adhesive, and by thrusting a 
stick about two-eighths of an inch in diameter, like 
the ramrod of a musket, obliquely into this heap, he 
made holes, into wdiich he poured the contents of 
his crucible. He then fixed a round, smooth stick, 
about three feet high, having a split in the top, up¬ 
right in the ground, when, taking out his rods of 
brass, he beat them out on a stone with his little 
hammer, till they were about the eighth of an inch 



square, occasionally softening them in a small flame, 
made by burning grass. Having reduced them all 
to this thickness, he laid the end of one on a stone, 
and rubbed it to a point with another stone, in order 
to introduce it through the largest hole in his iron- 
plate ; he then opened the split in the upright stick, 
to hold fast the end of the wire, when he forced the 
plate and wire round the stick with a lever-power, 
frequently rubbing the wire with oil or fat. The 
same operation is performed each time, making the 
point of the wire smaller for the less hole, till it is re¬ 
duced to the size wanted, which is sometimes about 
that of thick sewing-cotton. The wire is, of course, 
far inferior in colour and quality to our brass-wire. 
These native smiths, however, evince great dex¬ 
terity in working ornaments from copper, brass, and 

When I had thus assisted the old man, and become 
sociable, I talked to him about the power of know¬ 
ledge ; explaining the bellows and other mechanical 
improvements, which insure accuracy as well as save 
time and labour. To this he listened with great at¬ 
tention ; but when I introduced Divine subjects, man’s 
misery, and man’s redemption, he looked at me with 
mouth dilated, and asked, "‘A ga u morihi pula?” 
Art thou a rain-maker ? This man had also an in¬ 
teresting son and daughter, to whom I often spoke, 
as well as to some others, in social converse, which I 
hoped and prayed might he blessed ; but what became 
of these Bahurutsian families I never knew. 

Specimens of the wire, a hammer, and the plate, may be seen 
in the Missionary Museum, Mission House, Blomfield-street, Fhns- 



Some time after my arrival among these Baro- 
longs, certain people came from the Bauangketsi, 
who, on seeing me, expressed a strong desire that I 
should visit their king, Sebegne, the son of Makaba. 
I explained why I could not comply at that time, and 
sent a small present. A fortnight after, while sitting 
writing in my wagon, the hue-and-cry was raised that 
an enemy was approaching, when many fled, leaving 
the village with few inhabitants. I did not like the 
idea of leaving my wagon and other property, after 
their example, and sat waiting to see who the enemy 
was, when presently Sebegne, with two hundred war¬ 
riors, flne-looking men, emerged from a thicket of 
acacias, and the trembling inhabitants were amazed 
to observe the chieftain, whom they never saw be¬ 
fore, come and salute me in a way which proved that 
we were old acquaintances. I walked into the village 
with him and his men, to the no small astonishment 
of its owners, who drew near, out of breath with their 
flight, to see the king of the Bauangketsi. They were 
still more surprised when he told them that he had 
broken an established law of his people, which would 
not permit the king to leave his own dominions, but 
that his martial appearance among them was on de¬ 
signs of peace ; for his sole object was to induce me 
to accompany him to his capital. He remained two 
days, during which I had much interesting conversa¬ 
tion with him, but could not, from want of time, 
accede to his urgent request to accompany him to 
his own country. He referred with much apparent 
pleasure, to my visit to his late father, and expressed 
an earnest desire that I should go and live with him 
and his ])eople. He had ])nrchased one horse, and 



stolen another from an individual who had visited 
him, and wishing to appear before me in trowsers, 
had got a pair made of some shape, begging I would 
supply him with better^ a request which was granted. 
The Barolongs were so suspicious of the visit of such 
a great man, that they could not feel comfortable, 
until they had heard that he had passed the Molapo, 
the boundary of his kingdom ; they then came and 
gave me the credit I did not deserve, of preventing 
his fierce warriors from destroying their villages, and 
taking their cattle. His last words were, “ Trust me, 
as you trusted my father.’’ 

After ten weeks’ sojourn among this people, who 
showed me no little kindness, I prepared to return 
home ; and on the Sabbath collected all, and gave 
them my concluding address, on the importance of 
believing the Gospel of mercy. After a thirsty 
journey, I reached home, with a heart filled with 
gratitude to God for the comforts I enjoyed, and the 
progress I had made in the language, during these 
months of a semi-savage life. In that country it was 
not then easy to convey letters, owing to a dangerous 
desert path, and the tribes living in constant suspi¬ 
cion of each other. It was no uncommon thing in 
those days for ambassadors never to return, and for 
trading parties to he entirely cut off. Postmen and 
carriers were therefore not easily found, though they 
were safe if known to belong to us. I have more 
than once found it difficult to convince a messenger 
that the letter would not say a word to him on the 
road; and part of a journal, and a letter to Mrs. M., 
were thrown away from this superstitious notion. 

A remarkable providence was observable in this 



visit to the Barolongs. Immediately on my return to 
the station, the news reached us that a marauding 
party had proceeded from the Orange River to the 
northward, and fell on the people among whom I 
had lived, and they, in consequence, fled to the Ka- 
lagare desert, with the loss of much cattle. The dis¬ 
tance at which they had passed and repassed to the 
north of our station, and the feebleness of the party, 
excited no alarm among the Kuruman people. 

The above is a sketch of the lekuka, or Bechuana milk-sack, 
referred to in the present work, and is made of the hide of an ox, 
or that of a qua^ga, which is said to give the milk a better flavour. 
The strongest part of the skin is selected, and stretched on the 
ground with w^ooden pegs ; and when it has become hard, the hairy 
side is scraped smooth with a small iron adze; cut, and sewed 
into the above shape. After being soaked with water, it is filled 
with sweet milk, which, in warm weather, or on being exposed to 
the sun, soon becomes sour. The spigot at the bottom is to draw 
off the whey, when more milk is added. The thick sour milk thus 
prepared is very agreeable and wholesome, and will keep a long 
time. These sacks do not last long, especially if used for water; 
and l)y them, it is easy for ns to understand the old leather bottles 
of Scripture, into which new wine was not to be put. 


Change of prospects—Startling intelligence—Distracting circum¬ 
stances—-Sojourn at Griqua Town—Return to the station—Rev. 
Richard Miles’s visit—Population scattered—Pleasing indications 
—Another commando—Audacity of the enemy—Their purposes 
defeated—Treatment of the prisoners—Another horde of banditti 
—An anxious Sabbath—A flag of truce !—A parley with the 
enemy—Mr. and Mrs. Archbell arrive—The power of conscience 
—Pacific results—A massacre—Divine retribution. 

Our prospects were now beginning to brighten. 
Several thousands of the natives had congregated 
near us on the opposite side of the valley. They 
were becoming more settled in their minds. They 
would collect in the different divisions of the town, 
where we visited them, and the public attendance at 
the station daily increased. The school also was 
better attended. We had for a long time past been 
hovering on the wings of suspense, but now felt as 
if we could labour in hope ; and though we could see 
nothing like a change in any one, or even observed 
real attention, nevertheless we felt a persuasion that 
we should soon hear the voice of the turtle in the 

Our pleasure was augmented by the return of Mr. 
and Mrs. Hughes, from the Colony, greatly improved 
in health. We had begun to hope that the confusion 



and every evil work which had prevailed in all parts 
of the country, had, like every other display of the 
uncontrolled passions of man, passed their zenith, 
and were fast disappearing, with their unfortunate 
actors, who were falling, one after another, in their 
unhallowed enterprise. But, alas ! while thus con¬ 
gratulating ourselves, a sudden cloud gathered around 
us ; and it is impossible to look back and re-peruse 
the letters and journals written at the time, without 
feeling over again, almost all the painful self-denial 
which we were called to exercise on that occasion. 

Of the nature and extent of the attack of the 
Bergenaars on Griqua Town, we had received ample 
information, but saw no reason to feel any alarm for 
the safety of our own mission, as they could have no 
such grounds for attacking our people. We had 
scarcely despatched a letter to the Directors, inform¬ 
ing them that the state of the mission was encourag¬ 
ing, when a letter was received from Mr. Wright, the 
contents of which were certainly of a very startling 
character. He assured us that it was the determi¬ 
nation of the Bergenaars to come direct to the Ku- 
ruman, in order to obtain the ammunition which 
we possessed, take our property, and destroy the 
station. Such a report, from such a source, very 
naturally terrified the Bechuanas ; all was consterna¬ 
tion, all urged us to be gone, declaring that they 
would not run the risk, whether we did or not. It 
was more easy for them than for us to flee. We 
were weary of flights, we had been greatly impover¬ 
ished by them, and to remove three missionaries, 
and two of their families, was a serious matter. 
Knowing well the character of the des})eradoes, and 



tlieir object, in the late attack on Griqua Town, 
after prayerfully considering the subject, we could 
not perceive our situation to be so perilous as Mr. 
Wright appeared to suppose, and accordingly wrote 
to him that it was our determination to remain. We 
concluded, that, in the event of their arrival, we 
should in all probability hear of their approach in 
sufficient time to allow of our safe escape. We na¬ 
turally made some allowance for the fears of Mr. 
Wright, who had but lately come to the country, 
and experienced but few of those alarms with which 
we had become familiar. Our reply was immedi¬ 
ately followed by a solemn assurance from Mr. 
Wright, that an attack on our station was determined 
and certain, and that the consequences would be 
dreadful, as it was the intention of the banditti to 
take our lives ; and his urgent advice was to remove 
to Griqua Town without a moment’s delay, and not 
to depend on the Griquas for farther information, as 
no one could be found willing to travel in such times. 
Waterboer also sent an express to me at the same 
time, stating his own, as w^ell as Mr. W.’s very great 
anxiety on our account, and their astonishment at 
our temerity. These reports, which we could not 
hide from the natives, were to them like the sounding 
tocsin. Our situation was now really distressing, 
and to remove at this time was one of the hardest 
things we had ever had to encounter. We could not 
help doubting the correctness of the hackneyed re¬ 
port, which had so often died away in our ears, that 
the marauders would attack us. We were the more 
distracted, as we had just before been indulging the 
most pleasing hopes with regard to the strength of 



our mission; and Motliibi was on the point of re¬ 
moving his town close to our station, in order to unite 
with us, and cultivate the valley below. The natives 
being now panic-struck, with indescribable reluctance 
we packed up some of our most valuable articles in 
our wagons, and departed in the beginning of Sep¬ 
tember, leaving some confidential persons in charge 
of the station and remaining property. I still feel as 
if I yet gazed on the Becbuanas leaving their towns in 
despair, and therefore, as is usual, in flames, to indi¬ 
cate that they would never return to a spot where 
they could neither rest nor sleep. We wended our 
weary way along the desert path, and after a most 
melancholy journey of five days, arrived at Griqua 
Town. It was hard work to travel, when we could 
not resist the feeling that every step was unnecessary; 
and we should certainly have remained at Daniel’s 
Kuil, hut from the conviction that the friends at 
Griqua Town, who had expressed such solicitude, 
would he disappointed if we stopped short of that 
place. AVe of course took with us what ammunition 
we had, lest it might he either an object of the cupi¬ 
dity of the one party, or necessary for the defence 
of the other. We had scarcely arrived and heard the 
whole of the reports, when we sincerely regretted 
having come, and felt extremely anxious to return, 
as we saw nothing but starvation before us. Our 
oxen and cows were dying for want of grass, and we 
possessed no means of obtaining supplies from the 
Colony. There was no possibility of ascertaining the 
truth of the daily reports, as these were obtained 
from strolling Bushmen and otliers, who migkt visit 
the place, either for a morsel of food, or, as some sup- 



posed, to spy the place, and on their veracity no 
dependence could he placed. One of these unfortu¬ 
nate heings, in order to make him tell the truth, re¬ 
ceived a severe castigation; when he did tell a fine 
tale indeed, that, in a late affray, Jan Bloom and 
other distinguished individuals had been killed, which, 
though a perfect falsehood, he knew would diffuse 
unmingled pleasure ; and though he himself was put 
in irons, he succeeded in making his escape soon 
afterwards. One day it was reported the enemy were 
at the door ; another, that half of them were dead, 
and the rest scattered for want of food. Thus it 
continued, and we should have returned, had it not 
been for the conviction of some that it was safer for 
the mission families to be together. But for all to 
stay was unnecessary, and Mr. Hamilton, having no 
family, returned first to the station. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hughes followed; and I should have accompanied 
them, but a letter arriving from Mr. Miles, the So¬ 
ciety’s superintendent, apprising us of his near ap¬ 
proach, Mr. Wright being very unwilling to be left 
alone, I remained till Mr. M.’s arrival with the kind 
provision made for the Griquas by the friends at 
Cape Town. This diffused a degree of cheerfulness 
over the public mind; but many were dispirited ; and 
Mr. Wright very earnestly recommended the Griquas 
joining the Bechuana mission, placing them on one 
side of the Kuruman valley, while the Aborigines 
should occupy the other, and thereby save both mis¬ 
sions. This plan at first sight was very plausible ; 
but as we were better acquainted with the dispositions 
of the two parties, we could not accede to the opinion 
of Mr. W. and the good people of GihpiaTown, that 



it was not only advisable, but absolutely necessary to 
the continuation of the two missions, that a junction 
of the missions take place.” The Bechuanas, though 
unable to defend their country against enemies who 
possessed both fire-arms and horses, were nevertheless 
extremely jealous of every encroachment on the do¬ 
mains of their ancestors, and however their subdued 
condition might for a time prostrate their patriotism, 
we were well aware that should we connive at the 
Griquas settling down in their country, it would even¬ 
tually bring upon us a load of obloquy, when they 
found themselves viewed as subordinate, in what was 
once their own territory. The reasonableness of our 
objections to the plan was quite apparent to Mr. 
Miles, and as Mr. W. greatly needed counsel as well 
as assistance at this juncture, Mr. M. cordially 
agreed that Mr. Hughes should remove to Griqua 
Town to share his labours. 

Accompanied by Mr. Miles we returned to the Ku- 
ruman with no little satisfaction, though mingled with 
sadness, for our circumstances were not of a character 
to excite pleasure. Half of our oxen and nearly all 
our cows were dead, we were too poor to purchase 
more, not a quart of milk on the station, and what 
was worse nearly all our people gone. Heaps of 
ashes, where crowds once lived, who but for these 
reports would have been there still; we felt as if we 
could never forgive ourselves for having fled, and 
resolved afresh to resume our labours among the few 
poor who remained on the station, and who were on 
the increase. 

The visit of the Rev. Richard Miles, which was 
ostensibly a visit of mercy to the Griquas, was sensibly 



felt to be one of comfort to us, in our isolated and 
distracted position. Having made himself acquainted 
with all the affairs of the station, he suggested the 
very great importance of preparing something like 
hymns in the native language, which being constantly 
sung, the great truths of salvation would become im¬ 
perceptibly written on the minds of the people. This 
was very desirable, as we had hitherto used only 
Dutch hymns ; but the thing appeared premature, 
from my limited knowledge of the language ; how¬ 
ever, at his request, T made the attempt, and the 
first hymn ever written in the language is one of 
the many now in extensive use. The arrival of the 
spelling-books, etc., at the same time, enabled us to 
commence a school in the Sechuana. This was the 
dawning of a new era on our mission. The station 
as well as ourselves had suffered so much from 
removals, flights, and the want of common neces¬ 
saries, that we resolved through Divine aid to re¬ 
main by our post, let the consequences be what they 
might. Mr. Miles, whose generous conduct and 
brotherly faithfulness had endeared him to all the 
missionaries in the country, returned, and we pursued 
our labours, which had now, with few interruptions, 
been carried on for ten years without any fruit. 

Our circumstances were now like those of the ma¬ 
riner after a storm, his ship dismantled and nearly all 
his companions gone; but even this was a state of 
peace and pleasure compared with the past. We 
could not however persuade ourselves that this war¬ 
fare was over, or that our faith had been sufficiently 
tried. We knew that the darkest period of the night 
was the hour which preceded the dawn of day, but we 



could not help fearing that the hour, which to us had 
heen gloomy indeed, might become darker still. We 
had been taught by painful experience, not to trust to 
our own understandings, neither to put confidence in 
an arm of flesh, but to trust in the right hand of the 
Most High, and therefore such was the state of our 
minds, that we felt perfectly resigned to every distress, 
and even death itself, in the cause in which we were 
engaged. These were the chastened results of past 

The Griquas were rent with internal discord, and 
the united force of the four chiefs which drove back 
the overwhelming enemy from Lithako, was now di¬ 
vided into four separate interests. Waterboer did 
not receive either the sanction or support from the 
Colonial Government which he deserved, and was 
therefore unable to defend either himself or others, 
without suitable resources. The Batlapis and those 
by whom we were surrounded, and concerning whom 
we had begun to hope, having been thus exposed to 
incessant alarms and losses, despairing of help from 
any quarter, fled first to the Bushman territory, and 
then to the Yellow River, whence some have never 
returned. There were fragments of tribes scattered in 
the country, and these by degrees collected around us. 
Among these, a comparatively new soil, we continued 
our labours, and fruitless as the past had been, we felt 
when addressing the people, as if we were thrown 
some years back. 

Jan Karse, a Griqua of no party, and a peaceable 
man, having heard that his relative Jan Bloom was 
threatening to attack us, left his farm in the Bushman 
country, and removed for a time to our station, with 



the twofold object of having his children educated, 
and endeavouring to prevail on the Blooms, should 
they come, to abandon their project. This was to us 
quite unexpected, for we had long ceased to look to 
man for aid, but we were deeply thankful for such an 
interposition, as we cherished the hope, that his arri¬ 
val would deter the marauders from such an attack. 

At this period the number of inhabitants on our 
station amounted to about fifty families, from seven 
different tribes, who had made the spot an asylum, 
when plundered and driven from their own abodes. 
Poverty made them willing to labour, and they became 
useful auxiliaries to us in the buildings and outward 
improvements. Mr. Hughes’s temporary house being 
unoccupied, we turned it into a chapel, where we put 
up our humble pulpit. On the following day, when 
we were about to occupy it, we found a Cobra de 
capello serpent had already taken possession, which to 
some minds might have been an ominous event. The 
day-school began to cheer our drooping spirits, to 
which we added one in the evening, having about forty 
scholars in each, and some we heard began to pray ! 
The attendance on public worship was good, and the 
introduction of singing hymns in the language, only 
three in number, produced a very pleasing effect on 
the savage mind, and no less so on our own, though 
we could not discover any inwrought feeling produced 
by the preaching of the Gospel. 

One mission house had been finished, another was 
raised as high as the beams, and though we had faith 
to take joyfully the spoiling of our goods, and to 
expend our lives, yet as the friends at home were 
beginning to despair of success, we did not like to 



expend any more money. I remember when it was 
signified to ns, though not officially, that the aban¬ 
donment of the mission was in contemplation, we felt 
our souls at once riveted to the country and people ; 
and even had our resources been withdrawn, we were 
confident of Divine interference in our behalf. It 
was at this time, under these feelings, and with the 
prospect of peace, that Mr. Hamilton, my veteran 
fellow-labourer, found it necessary, after his long 
career, to visit the coast for the first time, and ac¬ 
cordingly left us in February, 1828. 

In the month of March, a party of Corannas passed 
into the interior, and Jan Karse hearing that a brother 
of his wife was among them, intercepted the party at 
a distance, and accompanied by Aaron, succeeded in 
dissuading them from their wicked, as well as danger¬ 
ous attempt to proceed to the Bauangketsi. Karse 
left them to deliberate, and in the course of a few 
days, to our amazement, they entered our station, 
and sat themselves down on the outskirts of the vil¬ 
lage. We did not like their haughty and menacing 
aspect. They spoke and acted as if their expedition 
was one of harmless enterprise. 

Two days passed without much suspicion on our 
part, while they rambled about in the village, with 
perfect confidence, among people whose near rela¬ 
tions they had first plundered, and then murdered 
in cold blood only a few days previous. They were 
treated with kindness, every thing being avoided 
which might give offence. Andries Bloom, Karse’s 
brother-in-law, stated his fears that an attack on the 
j)lace, for the few cattle we had, was contemplated. 
A sleepless and watchful night ensued. On the fol- 

2 I 



lowing morning, Karse went to their camp again and 
again, using every argument and entreaty which he 
could conceive, to induce them to depart in peace. 
After this they appeared anxious to convince every 
one that their intentions were pacific. The plot, 
however, was more deeply laid during the subsequent 
night. In the morning, Karse took his wife with 
him, being an influential woman, and the sister of 
Bloom, their chief. They pleaded hard, but pleaded 
in vain, and Karse was ordered in the most threaten¬ 
ing language to be gone. Fearing the menaces of 
such desperadoes, he retired, while his wife, who was 
three times his own size, nobly walked close behind 
him, to prevent his being shot. 

The marauders then sprang into a kind of natural 
entrenchment, or rather heap of stones, within a few 
yards of our houses, and shook their clubs at us with 
savage ferocity. Andries Bloom and his sister took 
refuge in our house, with my wife and family. It was 
now nearly noon, and the cattle were lowing to get out 
to water and pasture. It was with difficulty I could 
prevent our people from attacking the enemy, though 
we had not more than five men on the place who could 
use a gun, while they had forty, independent of Bush¬ 
men with bows and arrows. As the people wmuld not 
permit me to go to the invaders, I stood half-w^ay 
between them and my owm house, where one of their 
number met me, and conveyed several messages to 
and fro. They at last told me also to be gone, or they 
would shoot me. Until now I had been able to restrain 
our men, though exasperated to the last degree by 
the conduct of a people whom they had counselled, 
assisted, and fed, though they had imbrued their hands 



in the blood of some dear relatives, whose spoils were 
in their possession. At this moment a shot was fired 
into the centre of the village, a second ball went over 
my head. I walked slowly towards my house, to 
show, that if they did intend to shoot me, I did not 
think so. Aaron, and a small party who were look¬ 
ing on at a short distance, hearing the shots, instantly 
came up, and by their intrepidity the marauders were 
driven from their shelter, while those who had already 
begun to plunder the other end of the village, fled, and 
all leaving their effects, made the best of their way to 
the mountains ; some were killed on the plain, and 
not a man would have escaped had it not been for the 
humanity of our people, who would willingly have 
spared all, and therefore instantly gave up the pur¬ 
suit. Five men were captured and brought to my 
house, not to turn that into a prison, but only to be 
fed, to sit without either locks or doors, secure from 
rudeness or danger. This was another woe passed, 
and though we could not help shuddering at the loss 
of life, it was impossible to feel otherwise than thank¬ 
ful for the deliverance. It was afterwards discovered 
that the enemy had resolutely determined to kill, as 
well as steal, and set the place on fire, which they 
used their utmost exertions to accomplish. Having 
heard that this party had, in their course, deliberately 
murdered all the unoffending natives who had fallen 
into their hands, I inquired of the prisoners after they 
had been some time with us, if their minds never 
revolted at such crimes as deliberately killing inno- 
nent females and children, who possessed nothing to 
tempt their cupidity, but who had cheerlully served 
them with wood and water. I shall never forget the 

2 I 2 



reply of one, who, after sitting some minutes motion¬ 
less in deep reflection, said, “Mynheer, the heart of 
man is a wonderful thing; there is nothing which 
it cannot do. Custom makes even murder a play- 
thins;.” This was indeed havina; a seared conscience, 
or being past feeling, and he, like many others, was 
unmoved by any conviction of the enormity of such 
crimes. These men were afterwards sent home to 
their friends, evidently struck by the kindness which 
had been shown them, and which we hoped might 
have a beneficial influence upon their minds. Some 
time after, when we were supposing it not improbable 
that the relations of the defeated might seek revenge, 
we were informed by an individual from their neigh¬ 
bourhood, that their chief had sharply reproved them 
for so daring an attempt on a missionary station, add¬ 
ing, “ that the results were such as they might have 

Soon after this affair, some of the subordinate chiefs 
of the Batlapis signified their wish to return to the 
Kuruman, which they accordingly did. It is also 
worthy of notice that the distant villagers, by taking 
refuge on our station, became acquainted with the 
character and motives of the missionary, and Avere 
often led to listen to the Gospel of salvation, preach¬ 
ed, though very imperfectly, in their own language; 
and although many at first exhibited the barrenness 
of their minds by the wildness and vacancy of their 
countenances, yet the glimmering rays of light then 
imparted were the precursors of brighter days. It 
was reviving to see, in those troublous and distracted 
times, the attendance increase; and gradually an 
unremitted and riveted attention marked the sable 



audience. Before this time I had commenced, on the 
forenoon of the sabhath, catechizing the children and 
adults on the first principles of the Gospel, reading 
a chapter out of a manuscript translation of Luke. 
From the unexpected increase of labour, and being 
alone, it evas not easy to make either additions to the 
translations, or solid advances in the language. 

The aspect of general affairs continued pacific for 
nearly two months. The state of the Griqua country 
assumed an appearance which we regarded as the 
precursor of permanent peace. Judgment had over¬ 
taken many of the marauders, and the remainder 
were comparatively scattered. When the mind was 
beginning to feel at liberty to contemplate the pleas¬ 
ing results of peace and the Gospel on the tribes 
now comparatively shorn of the barbarous dignity 
which had marked by-gone years, the approach of 
another commando from the Orange River was an¬ 
nounced. The country to the north-w^est, all along 
the course of former marauders, being swept of in¬ 
habitants, we were not aware of our danger till 
they had advanced within eight miles of our station. 
They would in all probability have entered our village 
unawares, but for the following circumstance. Two 
men, a woman, and boy, were returning from a dis¬ 
tance, with two pack oxen laden with skins, which 
they had gone to barter. These were seized, the men 
and woman were dragged on one side to he despatched 
with clubs, but the hoy was spared to guide them to 
our station : he made his escape during the night, and 
gave us information. Next day, the sabbath, August 
10th, 1828, all was confusion, as we were every hour 
expecting an attack. A sleepless and anxious night 



followed. A watch had been set, but from the ex¬ 
treme darkness of the night, nothing could be seen 
till morning, when it was discovered from the spoor 
of horses, that some of the enemy had come very 
near to reconnoitre. This was a trying season, for 
it was too evident from what the boy had overheard, 
that they were strong, and that they were determined 
to attack the station. Jan Karse and family having 
returned to his farm, fifty miles distant, some weeks 
previous, we had very few men able to use a gun, 
and only two of these on whom we could depend. 
We were weak indeed, and to save our cattle, we 
sent them ofip with some men to the wide wilderness, 
in the Bushman country. We were consoled to 
know that an omnipotent Jehovah saw our condition, 
that He could defend by many or by few, and could 
so order and overrule afiairs as even to prevent 
bloodshed. For this my dear partner and I united 
again and again in fervent supplication to Him who 
had said, ‘‘ Call upon me in the time of trouble, and 
I will deliver.” Our souls sickened at the idea of 
seeing the ground of the mission station dyed with 
human blood, and we felt a strong persuasion that 
it would be prevented. Another night, in which 
infants only could forget their cares and fears, passed 
by. Early next morning the commando emerged from 
behind a rising ground, where they had passed the 
night, within half a mile of the place. The enemy, 
seeing the so-called entrenchments full of people, 
and that their approach was discovered, had no al¬ 
ternative but to advance. The confused rabble of 
horse and infantry came on, evincing all the pageantry 
of sluggish pomp. I had previously ordered, begged, 



and entreated that no one should fire, as it was not 
likely that they would gallop into the place, hut leave 
them to expend their ammunition on the hillocks of 
stone. I stood with my telescope on one of these 
lullocks, to see whether I could recognise any of the 
party, as we had been informed that there were several 
rebel Griquas among them. When they came within 
gun-shot they sheered off to the river, where they 
intercepted some cattle belonging to our people, and 
a few sheep the property of Mr. Hamilton, while a 
number went to the tops of the heights to look around 
for more booty. We counted their force, amounting 
to forty muskets, nine horses, and about ninety men, 
among whom were a number of Griquas well dressed. 

After debating for about an hour, a man was sent 
with a flag,—a rag suspended on the end of a rod. 
To prevent his seeing the weakness of the place, I met 
him at a distance. He did not hesitate to acknow¬ 
ledge that it was their intention to attack the place 
for purposes of revenge; and that Jantye Goeman, 
one of the principal men, though not the chief, begged 
first to have an interview with me at their camp, and 
the favour of a piece of tobacco. I refused to go 
to their camp, but engaged to meet him half way, if 
he was unarmed. After a long pause this was agreed 
to, when he advanced, and was soon followed by two 
more, the most ruffian-like beings I ever beheld. I 
went, accompanied by Aaron, and approaching Jantye 
Goeman, whom I knew well, he having been sepa¬ 
rated from the church of Griqua Town while I was 
there, he drew near with his hat drawn over his 
eyes, and without looking me in the face, held oat his 
hand. I said to him, “ Jantye, let me see your face ; 



you may well blush that your old friend should find 
you in so horrible a position, among a people deter¬ 
mined on the destruction of a missionary station.” “ I 
am dumb with shame,” was his reply, and he then 
manufactured an excuse for his being found among such 
company, adding that he would rather defend my person 
than see a weapon raised against me. He then in¬ 
formed me that there were several other Bergenaars, 
desperate characters, among them; but the head of 
the commando was one Paul, chief of the Karos-heb- 
bers intimating that it was necessary for me to 
see him before we could come to any understanding ; 
for I found Jant 3 ^e was not empowered to make ar¬ 
rangements. In fact, he appeared embarrassed ; his 
countenance displaying a hidden conflict, and being 
the index of guilt. He assured me that to obtain 
an interview with Paul w^as out of the question, for 
ever since he had left home he had been vowdng 
that he would rather die than exchange one word 
with me, or see my face. Perfectly unable to con¬ 
ceive how I had become so odious in the eyes of any 
one, I made many inquiries, and at length learned, 
that this Paul was one to whom I had preached the 
Gospel, and he had sworn not to see me, lest I should 
succeed in persuading him to abandon his intentions 
of murder and rapine. After many entreaties, I got 
Jantye to go and invite Paul, while I remained on the 
spot. During his absence, one of the two forbidding 
characters, who continued near me, remarked in a 
growling tone, that I had better get out of the way, 
and let the commando do with the Kafirs (Bechuanas) 

^ A Coraniia tribe so called. Reference is made to this man in 
page 150. 



as they picasech To this I replied, that they must 
hrst hill game before they could eat venison ; that 
for my own part 1 had no intention to use any other 
weapon than prayer to God; but I would not vouch 
for what the people on the station might do ; that 
I was a teacher of some, but the master of none. 
Jantye came slowly back again, as if unwilling to 
tell his message. It was, that Paul was resolute in 
his determination not to see me. At this moment 
a wagon appeared in sight ; and fearing it might be 
some one from Griqua Town, who of course would 
be instantly despatched, I rose, and was proceeding to 
meet it, as it had to pass the camp of the banditti. 
Jantye prevented my going. I then sent a man, who, 
on passing the camp, was taken prisoner. \Mien, 
observdng some of the party shouldering their guns, 
and approaching the wagon, I got up, and said to 
Jantye, “ I shall not see your face till the wagon 
and its owners are safe on the station.'’ He instantly 
ran off, and brought the wagon through the party ; 
when, to our })leasing surprise, we found that our 
visitors were Mi\ and Mrs. Archbell, from the Wes¬ 
leyan mission at Platberg. 

Their safe arrival was a cause of gratitude, but the 
great point was yet undecided. I again met my 
half-way delegates ; when, after a long conversation 
with Jantye, and another message to Paul, he made 
his appearance, slowly and sadly, as if following a 
friend to execution, or going himself to he slain. 
His face appeared incapable of a smile. Taking his 
hand, as that of an old friend, I expressed my sur¬ 
prise that he, who knew me, and who once listened 
to the message of salvation from my lips, should 



come with such a force for the express purpose of 
rooting out the mission. I referred him to the time 
when, more than once, I had slept at the door of 
his hut, and partaken of his hospitality. He replied, 
that his purposes were unalterable, because, more 
than a year ago, a body of his men, who had passed 
into the interior to take cattle from the Barolongs, 
were attacked by Mothibi’s people ; and that although 
Mothibi had fled, many of his subjects, and the Bat- 
laros, were on the station. His eyes glared with fury 
as he said, I shall have their blood and their cattle 
too!” People in this country can scarcely conceive 
how difficult not to say sometimes how impossible, 
it is to argue with such characters, for some will not 
hear ; but Paul could argue ; and having once lis¬ 
tened to my voice with pleasure, the long time which 
had elapsed had not effaced the impressions made 
by the visit and presence of a teacher. Although I 
was not preaching, I spoke with great solemnity, 
asking him if the bleached bones on the Barolong and 
Kalagare plains, the souls his clubs and spears had 
hurried into eternity since he left home, and the inno¬ 
cent blood with which he had stained the desert but 
a few days ago, were not sufficient to glut his revenge ; 
or, rather, to make him tremble for the judgments 
which such a career would certainly bring upon him¬ 
self and his people, and which had already begun 
to be poured out on the blood-guilty tribes of the 
Orange River ? After having talked to him for some 
time in this strain, I begged him to call to mind his 
first and only visit to me while with Africaner; and 
his declaration, at a subsequent period, that he and 
his people were leaving because it was rumoured 



that Africaner was about to remove from the country, 
in which his presence had been the bond of union ; 
entreating him to compare his state of mind at that 
time with what it was now. This had scarcely passed 
my lips, when he ordered his men to go and bring 
the cattle which had been taken from our people, 
and added that he would not go a step farther, hut 
return by the way he came. In the course of a sub¬ 
sequent conversation, I inquired why he was so deter¬ 
mined on not seeing me. “ I could not forget your 
kindness to me in Namaqua-land,” was the reply. 
In this the reflecting reader will observe a fresh in¬ 
stance of the omnipotence of love, even among the 
most barbarous of the human race. 

Affairs being settled, and the cattle returned, the 
principal men were allowed to come to my house 
unarmed; but no one was permitted to approach the 
entrenchments, lest they should discover that the 
timid natives they saw there were only a mock dis¬ 
play of power; for, from the great numbers on the 
station they concluded that it was strong. When 
evening drew on, and they were about to retire to 
their camp, they begged of me, in the humblest lan¬ 
guage, not to allow the Bechuanas to attack them 
during the night; when I assured them that they 
might sleep in perfect safety. They said that such 
had been their terrors of conscience for nights ])ast, 
that a hyena or jackal had been enough to frighten 
them from their rendezvous. This was the language 
of those who had heard the Gospel, and some of whom 
had once made a profession of faith in the Son of God. 
Thus ‘‘ do the wicked flee when no man pursueth.” 

The visit of Mr. and Mrs. Archhell was very 



cheering to us under these circumstances, for which 
we united in giving thanks to the Lord, who ‘^giveth 
a banner to them that fear him, that it may be dis¬ 
played because of the truth.” He sent a fear into 
the hearts of the enemy, so that they did us no harm. 

Before concluding this subject, it will not be unin¬ 
teresting to notice the results. The party remained 
for two days; and Paul having informed me pri¬ 
vately that it was the intention of some of the 
commando who had accompanied him, (having been 
disappointed of booty at the Kuruman,) not to return 
without it, and were for that purpose resolved to 
go as far as the Barolongs on the Molapo River, I 
embraced this opportunity of remonstrating with them 
on their intentions, describing the country, and the 
danger of such a villanous undertaking. They silenced 
me, protesting that they were ignorant of such a plan. 
All took their departure: Paul and his adherents 
went to their homes ; and at half a day’s journey from 
the station, twenty-seven of the number turned off, and 
directed their course towards the interior. Of this 
we were informed, but several weeks elapsed before 
we knew what had become of them. One evening, 
when about to retire to rest, a faint rap was heard at 
the door: it was one of these unhappy individuals, 
of the name of Isaacs : he had nothing on him but 
his shoes, having cut off his clothes to expedite his 
escape from a catastrophe which had destroyed 
nearly all his companions. From his statement, it 
appeared that the party reached the Molapo, and had 
taken a drove of cattle, when they w-andered from 
their course, and came in contact wdth the subjects 
of a powerful chief of the Batlapis, One of these, a 



man of influence, they shot. The news was instantly 
conveyed to head-quarters: a plan was laid, by 
which they fell into an ambuscade, whence only nine 
narrowly escaped with their lives, leaving their all 
behind. This was amona: the last efforts of the hordes 


of ruthless desperadoes, v/ho had for live years been 
scattering, throughout the tribes, devastation, famine, 
and death, excepting Jan Bloom, who removed to 
the eastward, and made repeated but unsuccessful 
attacks on the people of Moselekatse. They had 
filled up their cup of iniquity: there was no power 
either to arrest or overthrow them: human attemj)ts 
only fanned the flame of discord: the Almighty sent 
forth his blast upon them, and they were made to 
drink of the bitter cup they had themselves poured 
out to others. The Bushmen, pestilence, prodigality, 
and beasts of prey, deprived them of their thousands 
of cattle ; disease and famine thinned their camps ; 
till, at length, in places which had echoed with the 
shouts of savage triumph over slaughtered tribes, and 
the noises of rude revelry and debauch, nothing was 
heard but the howl of the hyena, as an appropriate 
funeral dirge over the remains of a people, the vic¬ 
tims of insubordination, ferocity, and lust. 

These awful judgments on some were not without 
the most salutary results to others. So evidently was 
the hand of God displayed, that the atheistical Be- 
chuanas were wonderfully impressed with the truth of 
an overruling Providence ; which doctrine they had, 
as a nation, hitherto treated as visionary and false. 
They had ocular demonstration of what we had told 
them was the word of God, that the triumphing of the 
wicked is short, and that Jehovah would scatter them 



that delight in war. The notorious apostate, Jacob 
Cloete, the ringleader of that section which had scat¬ 
tered devastation among the Kuruman tribes, was im¬ 
poverished by his companions in crime, and retired 
to Berend’s people a beggar. He visited us as such 
at the Kuruman. It would not have been unnatural 
to expect that the Bechuanas, to whom he had been 
as the demon of destruction, would have treated him 
with contumely, or sought revenge. No; though 
they were yet comparative heathens, they looked on 
his tall, haggard form, and emaciated countenance, 
vdth sympathy; and seeing him look wild, and start, 
as if the air he breathed was charged with spectres, 
arrows, and death, they presented him with food, and 
retired, remarking, O chueroe ki poitsego,” “he is 
seized by terrors.” He soon afterwards died, the 
victim of remorse and shame. 

The above is a specimen of the head of a barbed 
spear, of which a warrior has generally one, though it 
is rarely used. The Bechuanas display much inge¬ 
nuity in the manufacture of iron instruments. 


Delightful change—Aaron Josephs baptized—Cheering fruits— 
llaptism of six converts—Expectations realized—Rejoicing with 
trembling—The Gospel civilizes—Native costume—Sewing school 
commenced—Dawn of civilization—Novel fashions—Candle¬ 
making adopted—Feelings and experience of the natives—The 
dying convert. 

While thus the judgments of the Lord were abroad 
among the tribes, the appearances on the station were 
indicative of the long-desired change. The temporary 
chapel was becoming too small. The readiness with 
v/hich many answered the questions of Dr. William 
Brown’s Catechism, which had been translated, and 
an increasing fixedness of attention to the preacher, 
were like the glimmering light on the eastern sky, so 
long watched for,—the presaging tints of the brighter 
rays which were, ere long, to gild the horizon,—the 
harbingers of the Sun of Righteousness arising on a 
benighted people. 

Mv. Hamilton, who had been detained unusually 
long in the Colony and on the road, from severe 
drought and loss of oxen, to our great joy arrived in 
the end of August, 1828. This veteran and faithful 
labourer, who might with great pro])riety be called 
the father of the Bechuana mission, was beyond 



measure delighted to find, although our circum¬ 
stances had been perilous during his absence, that 
now his mental energies were to be called into exer¬ 
cise in a way he had scarcely dared to anticipate. 
Shortly after this we were favoured with the manifest 
outpouring of the Spirit from on high. The moral 
wilderness was now about to blossom. Sable cheeks 
bedewed with tears attracted our observation. To 
see females weep was nothing extraordinary : it was, 
according to Bechuana notions, their province, and 
theirs alone. Men would not weep. After having, by 
the rite of circumcision, become men, they scorned 
to shed a tear. In family or national afflictions, it 
was the woman’s work to weep and wail; the man’s 
to sit in sullen silence, often brooding deeds of re¬ 
venge and death. The simple Gospel now melted 
their flinty hearts ; and eyes now wept, which never 
before shed the tear of hallowed sorrow. Notwith¬ 
standing our earnest desires and fervent prayers, we 
were taken by surprise. We had so long been accus¬ 
tomed to indifference, that we felt unprepared to look 
on a scene which perfectly overwhelmed our minds. 
Our temporary little chapel became a Bochim—a place 
of weeping ; and the sympathy of feeling spread from 
heart to heart, so that even infants wept. Some, 
after gazing with extreme intensity of feeling on the 
preacher, would fall down in hysterics, and others 
were carried out in a state of great exhaustion. 

Some months previous to these changes, Aaron 
Josephs, who was once a runaway slave, hut who had, 
through the kind interference of G. Thompson, Esq., 
obtained his manumission for the sum of 1,500 rix- 
dollars, the proceeds of ivory he had collected for 



that purpose left his farm for a time, and came to 
reside at the station, for the sake of the education 
of his children, as well as to improve himself in 
reading and writing. Both he and his wife were 
steady and industrious, having come from the Colony, 
where they had enjoyed some advantages. He, also, 
was awakened to a sense of his danger, and having a 
tolerably extensive knowledge of divine truth, he was 
soon a candidate for Christian fellowship, and was, 
with his three children, baptized at the same time 
with our own infant. The scene, from the pre¬ 
vious state of feeling, was deeply impressive and 
exciting. Notwithstanding all our endeavours to 
preserve decorum in the crowded place of worship, 
strong feeling gave rise to much weeping and consi¬ 
derable confusion ; hut, although it was impossible 
to keep either order or silence, a deep impression 
of the Divine presence was felt. The work which 
had commenced in the minds of the natives received 
an additional impulse from the above circumstance ; 
so that the sounds predominant throughout the 
village were those of singing and prayer. Those 
under concern held prayer-meetings from house to 
house, and when there were none able to engage in 
prayer, they sang till a late hour, and before morning 
dawned, they would assemble again at some house for 
worship, before going to labour. AVe were, soon after 
this interesting occurrence, delighted with farther re¬ 
sults. Aaron and two other men came and offered 
to take upon themselves the labour and expense of 
raising a school-house, which would serve as a place 
of worship, till one for that special purpose was 
erected. All they required was the plan ; and the 

2 K 



doors and windows, with their frames^ which they 
would also have made, but they lacked ability. This 
department, of course, Mr. Hamilton thankfully un¬ 
dertook. It was a voluntary act on their part, with¬ 
out the subject having been once hinted at. We had 
scarcely laid down the plan, fifty-one feet long by 
sixteen wide, when Aaron, who was by trade both 
builder and thatcher, set all in motion. The season 
happened to be a rainy one, and as the walls were 
made of clay, there were serious interruptions; but it 
was nevertheless soon completed; for all who felt in¬ 
terested in the work^ even women and children, gave 
what assistance was in their power, carrying clay, laths 
from the bushes, materials for thatch, or whatever 
else could contribute to its erection. It afforded us 
no small gratification to see the building finished with 
zeal equal to that with which it was commenced. 
Many important improvements were at the same time 
made in the outward affairs of the mission, in which 
there was no lack of native assistance, while the lan¬ 
guage and translations were attended to, to supply 
the wants of those who were now beginning to thirst 
after Divine knowledge. 

The building was opened in the month of May, 
1829, and in the following month we selected from 
among the inquirers six candidates for baptism. This 
was not done without much prayer and deliberation. 
These had given us very satisfactory proofs of a 
change of heart. After particular private examina¬ 
tion, separately, they were found to possess a much 
larger knowledge of Divine truth than was expected ; 
and their answers were most satisfactory ; it was truly 
gratifying to observe the simplicity of their faith, im- 



plicitly relying on the atonement of Christ, of which 
they appeared to have a very clear conception, con¬ 
sidering the previous darkness of their minds on such 
subjects. They were therefore baptized on the first 
sabbath of July, when other circumstances concurred 
to impart additional interest to the solemnity. It 
appeared as if it had been the design of Providence 
to call together from all quarters an unusual and 
most unexpected number of spectators from Philip- 
polis, Campbell, Griqua Town, and Boochuap. From 
these places there were present about fifty Griquas, 
who happened to congregate here previous to their 
proceeding on a hunting expedition. These were suit¬ 
ably and profitably impressed with what transpired, 
for they themselves had been for some time previous 
in a lukewarm state, and were thus awakened to jea¬ 
lousy about their own condition, by seeing the Be- 
chuanas pressing into the fold of Christ, while they 
by their backslidings were being thrust out; and to 
this we frequently afterwards heard that people bear 

There were also present parties from different 
places of the interior, who had come for purposes of 
barter. The place of worship was crowded to excess, 
and the greatest interest excited by a scene which was 
indeed a novelty to many, the service being con¬ 
ducted in the Bechuana language. After a sermon 
on John i. 29, a suitable address was given to the 
candidates, and when a number of questions had been 
asked, they were baptized, with five of their children. 
Among them was Rachel, the wife of Aaron, whom 
Mr. Hamilton addressed in Dutch, she being more 
conversant with that language; the others were 

2 K 2 



Bechuanas. In the evening we sat down together to 
commemorate the death of our Lord.* Our number, 
including ourselves and a Griqua, was twelve. It 
was an interesting, cheering, and encouraging season 
to our souls; and we concluded the delightful exer¬ 
cises of the day by taking coffee together in the 
evening. Our feelings on that occasion were such as 
our pen would fail to describe. We were as those 
that dreamed, while we realized the promise on which 
our souls had often hung : “ He that goeth forth and 
weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come 
again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him,’' 
The hour had arrived on which the whole energies of 
our souls had been intensely fixed, when we should 
see a church, however small, gathered from among 
a people who had so long boasted that neither Jesus, 
nor we, his servants, should ever see Bechuanas wor¬ 
ship and confess him as their King. 

It is only necessary to glance at the records of that 
mission from its commencement, to be able in some 
measure to conceive the emotions such a change pro¬ 
duced on our minds. We had long felt assured that 
when once the Spirit was poured out from on high, 
and when some of the natives had made a public pro- 

* It may not be unworthy of remark, that on the Friday even¬ 
ing previous, we received from John Greaves, Esq., of Sheffield, 
communion vessels and pulpit candlesticks, for which Mrs. M. had 
applied two years before, on Mrs. Greaves, her particular friend, 
kindly expressing a wish to know what she should send her. This, 
she requested, in the confidence of faith, that they would some time 
be needed, dark as things then appeared ; and, singular enough, they 
arrived at the very juncture of time in which they were wanted, 
after being twelve months on the road. 



fcssion of their faith in the Redeemer of the world, 
or, in other words, when Jehovah should perform his 
])romise, great would be the company of those who 
would publish or hear witness to the same. In this 
expectation we have been fully borne out by the 
number of missionaries who have since entered the 
country, the chapels which have been built, the 
schools raised, the crowded audiences and flourishing 
churches which have succeeded, not only at our own 
stations, but at those of the French and Wesleyan 
missionaries ; and extending from the Winter Bergen, 
which bound Kafraria, to the Kalagare desert on the 

Great as was the change, we still rejoiced with 
trembling ; having too often witnessed the successful 
attem])ts of Satan to frustrate our efforts, and blast 
our former hopes, to imagine that he who had hither¬ 
to reigned without a rival among the tribes, would 
calmly submit to the violence done to his ancient 
rights, without attacking us on fresh ground. His 
kingdom had at last been successfully assailed, and 
a breach made ; hut he who had lately roared so loud, 
might roar again. We therefore felt we needed a 
double portion of the Spirit, that we might he watch¬ 
ful to preserve, as well as to win souls. A great work 
had yet to be done before we could dare to glory. 
We knew that there were many prejudices to be over¬ 
come, much rubbish to be cleared away. The relation 
in which the believers stood to their heathen neigh¬ 
bours would expose their faith to trial. Some of 
them were a kind of serfs of others, who would rage 
at any innovation made on their former habits, all of 
which were congenial to sensual men, and o])])bsed 
alike to conversion and civilization. .But we prayed 



and believed that He who had begun a good work 
would carry it on. 

From what has been said in a preceding part of the 
present work, it will be seen that it was no more in 
our power to change their dress and habits, than it 
was to change their hearts, and we were convinced 
that evangelization must precede civilization. Much 
has been said about civilizing savages before attempt¬ 
ing to evangelize them. This is a theory which has 
obtained an extensive prevalence among the wise men 
of this world; but we have never yet seen a practical 
demonstration of its truth. It is very easy in a coun¬ 
try of high refinement to speculate on what might be 
done among rude and savage men; but the Christian 
missionary, the only experimentalist, has invariably 
found that to make the fruit good, the tree must first 
be made good, and that nothing less than the power 
of Divine grace can reform the hearts of savages; after 
which the mind is susceptible of those instructions 
which teach them to adorn the Gospel they profess, in 
their attire as well as in their spirit and actions. It 
would appear a strange anomaly, to see a Christian 
professor lying at full length on the ground covered 
with filth and dirt, and in a state of comparative nu¬ 
dity, talking about Christian diligence, circumspection, 
purification, and white robes ! The Gospel teaches 
that all things should be done decently and in order; 
and the Gospel alone can lead the savage to appreciate 
the arts of civilized life as well as the blessings of 
redemption. The heathen themselves occasionally 
reflect on its influence. An African chief, who, though 
a stranger to the power which converts the soul, 
seemed aware that it required some superior energy 
to reform the manners, addressing the author when 



Pa^e 503 



tracing civilization to its proper source, said, ‘‘ What, 
is it the precepts of that hook,” pointing to the Gos¬ 
pel of Luke, which I held in my hand, which has 
made you what you are, and taught the white people 
such wisdom; and is it that mahuku a molemo, (good 
news,) which has made your nation new, and clothed 
you, compared with whom we are like the game of 
the desert?” 

Although, as has been stated, the term savages, 
when applied to Bechuanas, must be understood in a 
restricted sense, there was nothing either very comely 
or comfortable in the dress of either sex; yet such was 
their attachment to it, that any one deviating from 
it was considered a harlequin. The accompanying 
sketches, taken on the spot by an artist of Dr. Andrew 
Smith’s expedition, give a correct view of the common 
dress both of men and women, as they generally 
appear when walking, talking or working. When 
the weather is warm they throw off the cloak. In the 
drawing they look better than they really are, for 
there are many accompaniments, grease, red ochre, 
etc., which are very disgusting, emitting a most un¬ 
pleasant odour. The child, as may be seen, is carried 
in a skin on the mother’s back, with its chest lying 
close to her person. When it requires to he removed 
from that position, it is often wet with perspiration; 
and from being thus exposed to cold wind, pulmonary 
complaints are not unfrequently brought on. As soon 
as a child is born, its head is shaved, leaving a small 
tuft on the imperfectly ossified part of the skull; and 
when but a few weeks old, the little head mav be seen 
hanging over the skin in which it is carried, shining 
with grease, and exposed to the rays of an almost 



vertical sun ; yet the coup de soleil is not of frequent 
occurrence either in infants or adults. The natives, 
however, are far from admiring a hot sun; and it is 
not uncommon to hear them say, “ Letsatsi le utluega 
yang? ” How does the sun feel?” and this exclama¬ 
tion is not to be wondered at, for I have known the 
action of the sun’s rays so powerful on the masses of 
grease and black shining ochre on the head, as to 
cause it to run down their necks and blister the skin. 
They are therefore often found carrying a parasol 
made of black ostrich feathers, and, in the absence of 
these, will hold a small branch over their heads. I 
have frequently observed the Matabele warriors carry¬ 
ing their shields over their heads for the same purpose. 

The commencement made, although on a very 
small scale compared with those mighty movements 
recorded in the overthrow of idolatry in some of the 
islands of the South Seas, was, nevertheless, what we 
had for many a long year ardently desired to see with 
our eyes, and to hear with our ears. To listen to Be- 
chuanas exclaiming, “We have been like the beasts 
before God—what shall we do to be saved ? ” and to 
observe them receiving with meekness the milk of the 
word, produced in our minds sensations not unlike 
those experienced by aged Simeon, when he held the 
infant Saviour in his arms. We were naturally led to 
anticipate an outward change among the inquirers, 
corresponding with their professions. Those who 
were baptized had previously procured decent rai¬ 
ment, and prepared it for the occasion, with Mrs. M.’s 
assistance, who had to supply two of the women with 
gowns from her own wardrobe. Hitherto a sewing 
school had been uncalled for, the women’s work being 



tliat of bailding houses, raising fences, and cultivating 
the ground; while the lords of the creation, for their 
own convenience and comfort, had from time imme¬ 
morial added to their pursuits the exercise of sewing 
their garments, which, from their durability and scanty 
supply, was anything hut a laborious work. It was a 
novel sight to observe women and young girls hand¬ 
ling the little bright instrument, which was scarcely 
perceptible to the touch of fingers accustomed to 
grasp the handle of a pickaxe, or to he employed 
as a substitute for trowels. But they were willing, 
and Mrs. M., in order to encourage them, engaged to 
meet them as often as her strength would permit. 
She had soon a motley group of pupils, very few of 
the whole party possessing either a frock or gown. 
The scarcity of materials was a serious impediment 
to progress, and living as we did far beyond the 
reach of traders, and six hundred miles from a market 
town, it was next to impossible to obtain them, at least 
just when wanted. The same Gospel which had 
taught them that they were spiritually miserable, 
blind, and naked, discovered to them also that they 
needed reform externally, and thus prepared their 
minds to adopt those modes of comfort, cleanliness, 
and convenience which they had heen accustomed to 
view only as the peculiarities of a strange people. 
Thus, hy the slow but certain progress of Gospel prin¬ 
ciples, whole families became clothed and in their 
right mind. Ornaments which were formerly in high 
repute, as adorning, but more frequently disfiguring 
their persons, were now turned into hullion to 2:)urchase 
skins of animals, which being prepared almost as soft 
as cloth, were made into jackets, trowsers, and gowns. 



When opportunity was afforded by the visit of a 
trader, British manufactures were eagerly purchased. 

For a long period, when a man was seen to make 
a pair of trowsers for himself, or a woman a gown, 
it was a sure intimation that we might expect ad¬ 
ditions to our inquirers. Abandoning the custom of 
painting the body, and beginning to wash with water, 
was with them what cutting off the hair was among 
the South Sea islanders, a public renunciation of 
heathenism. In the progress of improvement during 
the years which followed, and by which many indi¬ 
viduals who made no profession of the Gospel were 
influenced, we were frequently much amused. A 
man might be seen in a jacket with but one sleeve, 
because the other was not finished, or he lacked ma¬ 
terial to complete it. Another in a leathern or duffel 
jacket, with the sleeves of different colours, or of 
fine printed cotton. Gowns were seen like Joseph’s 
coat of many colours, and dresses of such fantastic 
shapes, as were calculated to excite a smile in the 
gravest of us. It was somewhat entertaining to wit¬ 
ness the various applications made to Mrs. Moffat, 
who was the only European female on the station, for 
assistance in the fabrication of dress ; nor were these 
confined to female applicants. As it was seen that 
these matters were left to her, they thought that she 
must needs be mistress of all the arts of civilized 
life, and consequently capable of instructing men as 
well as women. One would bring prepared skins 
to get them cut into dresses, another wanted a 
jacket, and a third would be desirous of a pattern, 
while another would bring his garment sewed upside 
down, and ask why it would not fit. These efforts, 



however trifling they may appear, were the pre¬ 
cursors of a mighty change, and the elements of a 
system which was destined to sweep away the filth 
and customs of former generations, and to open up 
numberless channels for British commerce, which, 
but for the Gospel, might have remained for ever 
closed. Our congregation now became a variegated 
mass, including all descriptions, from the lubricated 
wild man of the desert, to the clean, comfortable, 
and well-dressed believer. The same spirit diffused 
itself through all the routine of household economy. 
Formerly a chest, a chair, a candle, or a table, were 
things unknown, and supposed to be only the super¬ 
fluous accompaniments of beings of another order. 
Although they never disputed the superiority of our 
attainments in being able to manufacture these su¬ 
perfluities, they would, however, question our common 
sense in taking so much trouble about them. They 
thought us particularly extravagant in burning fat 
in the form of candles, instead of rubbing it on our 
bodies, or depositing it in our stomachs. Hitherto, 
when they had milked their cows, they retired to 
their houses and yards, to sit moping over a few em¬ 
bers, seldom affording sufficient light to see what they 
were eating, or even each other ; at night, spreading 
the dry hide of some animal on the floor, they would 
lie down in their skin cloaks, making a blanket at 
night of what had been their mantle all day. They 
soon found to read in the evening or by night required 
a more steady light than that afforded by a flickering 
flame from a bit of wood. Candle moulds and rags 
for wicks were now in requisition, and tallow carefully 
jireserved, and bunches of candles were shortly to 



be seen suspended from the wall, a spectacle far more 
gratifying to us than the most charming picture,—an 
indication of the superior light which had entered 
their abodes. 

Our prospects continued cheering, and the increas¬ 
ing anxiety for instruction and the growth of know¬ 
ledge among our candidates, greatly strengthened our 
hands. The experience of those who had been received 
into church fellowship, as well as those under convic¬ 
tion^ was often simply but expressively stated. “ I 
seek Jesus,” one would say; and another, “I am feel¬ 
ing after God; I have been wandering, unconscious of 
my danger, among beasts of prey; the day has dawned, 
I see my danger.” A third would say, “ I have been 
sleeping in the lion’s den ; or been blown to and fro 
like a calabash upon the water, and might have 
sunk.” We could not help fearing, in the midst of 
this excitement, that in many it would prove only 
like the morning cloud and early dew, and therefore 
found it necessary to exercise great caution in re¬ 
ceiving members into the little church. 

The following circumstance occurred about this 
time, which was of the Lord, to encourage us, and 
strengthen the faith of those who had put their hand 
to the plough. Several females had been carried off 
by the kuatsi, the disease described in page 436. 
Among these was a married woman, who had been 
a very diligent inquirer after divine truth. Before 
the disease began to assume a fatal appearance, she 
spoke very clearly on the immense value of the in¬ 
structions to which she had lately paid so much 
attention, at the same time professing the most lively 
hope of eternal life through the atonement of Jesus. 



A few (lays subsequent to this declaration, feeling 
that the harbingers of death had arrived, she called 
her husband and friends, and addressed them in lan¬ 
guage affecting and arousing, exhorting them to be¬ 
lieve in the words of Jehovah, and to flee for refuge 
to Jesus as the only Saviour. I am going to die.” 
This was startling language from the lips of a Moch- 
uana. Some listened with amazement, and others 
wept. Weep not,” she said, because I am going 
to leave you, but weep for your sins and weep for 
your souls. With me all is well, for do not suppose 
that I die like a beast, or that I shall sleep for ever 
in the grave. No ! Jesus has died for my sins ; he 
has said he will save me ; I am going to be with him.” 
Shortly after bearing this testimony, she who a few 
months before, according to her own language, was as 
ignorant as the cattle in the fold, now left the world 
with the full assurance of an eternal life beyond the 



Moselekatse’s ambassadors—Their astonishment—Danger attend¬ 
ing their return—The author accompanies them—Their recep¬ 
tion by Mahura—A lion attacks the oxen—Arrive at the Bahu- 
rutsi—Country and game—The inhabited tree—Singular expe¬ 
dient—The lions and the oven—An urgent appeal—Indications 
of former prosperity—Traces of great industry—The ravages of 
war—An interesting recital—Heavy rains—Meet a hunting party 
•—Savage pomp—Moselekatse afraid—Warriors described—A 
grand ball. 

In the latter end of the year 1829, two traders jour¬ 
neyed into the interior for the purpose of shooting 
elephants, and to barter. Hearing at the Bahurutsi 
that a tribe possessing much cattle lived at some dis¬ 
tance eastward, they proceeded thither, and were re¬ 
ceived in a friendly manner by Moselekatse, the 
king of that division of Zoolus called Abaka Zoolus, 
or more generally Matabele. He, however, only 
allowed them to approach one of his cattle outposts 
on horseback. Prior to this visit this tribe had had 
some intercourse with the Bahurutsi, by whom they 
obtained partial information respecting white people, 
and particularly those on the Kuruman station, with 
whom they were best acquainted. During the time 

* He calls himself Moselekatse, sounding the e as in emit, but is 
also called Umselekas, or Umsiligas, by the Kafir and Zoolu tribes. 



of Ills residence on the Lekua^ and other sources of 
the Orange River, his people had been attacked by 
the Bergenaars, but as these were only Griquas and 
Corannas, he was in comparative ignorance of the 
characters and dispositions of the whites. When 
these traders returned, Moselekatse sent with them 
two of his lintuna, or chief men, for the purpose of 
obtaining a more particular knowledge of his white 
neighbours ; charging them particularly to make 
themselves acquainted with the manners and instruc¬ 
tions of the Kuruman teachers. On their arrival 
they were astonished beyond measure with every 
thing they saw, and as they, according to the custom 
of their nation, were in a state of nudity, their ap¬ 
pearance very much shocked the comparatively deli¬ 
cate feelings of the Bechuanas, barbarians as they 
were. The visitors, however, most cheerfully ac¬ 
quiesced in our suggestions, for the sake of decency 
and propriety. They were shown every mark of 
attention, which was received with a politeness to 
which we had been entirely unaccustomed among the 
Bechuanas, which convinced us that true politeness 
was not confined to birth or civilization, and pointed 
out to us that our visitors were the nobles of the 
nation to which they belonged. Every thing calcu¬ 
lated to interest was exhibited to them. Our houses, 
the walls of our folds and gardens, the water ditch 
conveying a large stream out of the bed of the river, 
and the smith’s forge, filled them with admiration and 
astonishment, which they expressed not in the wild 
gestures generally made by the mere plebeian, but by 
the utmost gravity and profound veneration, as well 
as the most respectful demeanour. “ You are men. 



we are but children,” said one ; while the other ob¬ 
served, Moselekatse must be taught all these 
things.” When standing in the hall of our house, 
looking at the strange furniture of a civilized abode, 
the eye of one caught a small looking-glass, on which 
he gazed with admiration. Mrs. M. handed him one 
which was considerably larger ; he looked intensely 
at his reflected countenance, and never having seen it 
before, supposed it was that of one of his attendants 
on the other side; he very abruptly put his hand 
behind it, telling him to be gone, but looking again 
at the same face, he cautiously turned it, and seeing 
nothing, he returned the glass with great gravity to 
Mrs. M., saying that he could not trust it. 

Nothing appeared to strike them so forcibly as 
the public worship in our chapel. They saw men 
like themselves meet together with great decorum; 
mothers hushing their babes, or hastily retiring if 
they made any noise, and the elder children sitting 
perfectly silent. When the missionary ascended the 
pulpit, they listened to the hymn sung, and though, 
from their ignorance of the Bechuana language, they 
could not understand all that was said, they were con¬ 
vinced that something very serious was the subject of 
the address. The order and fervour which pervaded 
all parts of the service, bewildered their minds, which, 
from their infancy, had been accustomed to observe 
every public meeting introduced and characterized by 
the hoarse war-song and displays of chivalry. They 
were inquisitive about every thing, and were surprised 
to find that the hymns we sung were not war songs, 
expressive of the wild reveries which the associations 
of music brought to their minds. We embraced 


every opportunity of telling them the simple truths 
of the Gospel, and laboured to impress on their minds 
the blessings of peace. 

These men had intended to visit the white man’s 
country, the Colony, hut this was found inconvenient, 
and involved considerable difficulty as to how they 
were to be returned in safety. Accordingly, a Hot¬ 
tentot, who had accompanied the traders as a wagon- 
driver, was appointed by them to reconduct our visi¬ 
tors from our station to their own land. To this 
arrangement the latter made some objections, and it was 
well, for the character of the man was such as to make 
him a fit tool for so cruel a monarch as Moselekatse 
was reported to be. While this subject was under 
consideration, ’Umbate and his companion entered my 
house, with dejected looks, and requested a private 
interview; he informed me that reports had reached 
his ear, that the Bechuana tribes, through which they 
had to pass on the road homeward, were meditating 
their destruction. Of this we had had our suspicions, 
and only wished these noble visitors had not been 
brought to a missionary station, for we could not 
pretend to defend them by a superior force. Mr. 
Hamilton, Mrs. M., and I, met again and again to 
deliberate on the subject, but we were at our wits’ 
end. We took into consideration the warlike cha¬ 
racter, and almost overwhelming power of the Mata- 
hele, who had already destroyed many powerful tribes, 
and saturated the Bakone hills and plains with blood, 
following up the destruction commenced by the Man- 
tatees. We could not help almost trembling at the 
possible consequences of the ambassadors of such 
a power being butchered on the road. Having ma- 

2 L 



turely considered the subject, and implored Divine 
direction, it was resolved that I should take charge of 
them as far as the Bahurutsi countrv, from which 
they could proceed without danger to their own 
land and people. The strangers most gratefully 
accepted of this proposal, their eyes glistening with 
delight. A wagon was hired, in addition to my own, 
for their conveyance. Though these men were, 
strictly speaking, savages, we were convinced that 
they were persons of influence and authority under 
their own sovereign, by the simple dignity of their 
deportment, and their own entire silence on the sub¬ 
ject. The delightful results of the Gospel of love and 
good-will to all men, were strikingly exhibited on our 
departure. The believers, and many others on the 
station, brought little presents to offer to the stran¬ 
gers, as well as some for their master, Moselekatse, 
whose name, in their natural state, they would have 
pronounced only with anathemas. Having obtained 
a sufficient number of volunteers to accompany me, 
for there were some who thought the journey would 
be a disastrous one, we left the Kuruman on the 9th 
of November. 

The two ambassadors were received at Old Lithako 
with great kindness by the people of Mahura, who at 
that period strongly recommended the pacific pre¬ 
cepts of the Gospel introduced by the missionaries, 
although he himself has not yet shown that he has 
received that Gospel into his heart, which has scat¬ 
tered so many blessings in his path. Mahura’s 
speech had a good effect on their minds, in so far as 
it convinced them, that he who professed so high 
a regard for their guardian^ would do tliem no harm. 



Leaving Litliako, we tr^-velled in our empty wagons 
with more than usual speed, over the Barolong plains, 
in many parts of which the traveller, like the mariner 
on the ocean, sees the expanse around him bounded 
only by the horizon. Clumps of mimosas occasion¬ 
ally met the eye, while the grass, like fields of tall 
wheat, waved in the breeze ; amidst which various 
kinds of game were found, and the king of the forest 
roved at large. Some of the solitary inhabitants, who 
subsisted entirelv on roots and the chase, would 
intercept our course, and beg a little tobacco, and 
sometimes pass the night where we encamped. These 
were, indeed, the companions of the lion, and seemed 
perfectly versed in all his tactics. As we were re¬ 
tiring to rest one night, a lion passed near us, occa¬ 
sionally giving a roar, which softly died away on the 
extended plain, as it was responded to by another 
at a distance. Directing the attention of these 
Balala to this sound, and asking if they thought 
there was danger, they turned their ears as to a voice 
with which they were familiar, and, after listening 
for a moment or two, replied, “ There is no danger ; 
he has eaten, and is going to sleep.” They were 
right, and we slept also. Asking them in the morn¬ 
ing how they knew the lions were going to sleep, 
they replied, “ AVe live with them ; they are our com¬ 

At Sitlagole River, about 160 miles from the 
Kuruman, we halted in the afternoon, and allowed 
our oxen to graze on a rising bank opposite our 
wagons, and somewhat farther than a gun-shot from 
them. Having but just halted, and not having 
loosened a gun, we were taken by surprise by two 

2 L 2 



lions rushing out from a neighbouring thicket. The 
oldest one, of enormous size, approached within ten 
yards of the oxen, and bounding on one of my besh 
killed him in a moment, by sending his great teeth 
through the vertebra of the neck. The younger lion 
couched at a distance, while the elder licked his prey, 
turning his head occasionally towards the other oxen, 
which had caught his scent and scampered off; then, 
with his fore-feet upon the carcass, he looked and 
roared at us, who were all in a scuffle to loosen our 
guns, and attack his majesty. Two of our number, 
more eager to frighten than to kill, discharged their 
muskets ; and, probably, a ball whistling past his ear, 
induced him to retire to the thicket whence he had 
come, leaving us in quiet possession of the meat. At 
Meritsane, the bed of another dry river, we had a 
serenade of desert music, composed of the treble, 
counter, and bass voices of jackals, hyenas, and 

We were kindly treated by the Barolongs; and 
on the tenth day we arrived at Mosega, the abode 
of Mokhatla, regent over the fragments, though still 
a large body, of the Bahurutsi. These had congre¬ 
gated in a glen, and subsisted on game, roots, berries, 
and the produce of their corn-fields ; having been 
deprived of their flocks by the Mantatees. They 
were evidently living in fear, lest Moselekatse should 
one day make them captives. From these people I 
received a hearty welcome, though I was known to 
few of them except by name. 

Having fulfilled my engagement, in conveying my 
charge in safety to the Bahurutsi, I, in a solemn 
and formal manner, delivered them over to the care 



of Mokliatla, requesting him either to go himself, 
or send a strong escort to accompany them until 
they reached the outposts of the Matahele. To this 
proposal the Tunas were strongly opposed, and en¬ 
treated me most earnestly to accompany them to 
their own country; urging, that as I had shown them 
so much kindness, I must go and experience that 
of their king, who they declared would kill them 
if they suffered me to return before he had seen me. 
Mokhatla came trembling, and begged me to go, as 
lie and his people would flee if I refused. I pleaded 
my numerous engagements at the Kuruman; hut 
argument was vain. At last, to their inexpressible 
joy, I consented to go as far as their first cattle 
outposts. Mokhatla had long wished to see the 
fearful Moselekatse, who had desolated the Bakone 
country, and the proximity of whose residence gave 
him just reason to tremble for the safety of his 
people ; and it was only because they were not the 
rich owners of herds of cattle, that they had not 
already become the prey of this African Napoleon. 

During three days of heavy rain, which detained 
us, hlokhatla, whose physiognomy and manoeuvres 
evinced that, while he had very little of what was 
noble about him, he was an adept at intrigue, and 
exhibited too much of the sycophant to command 
respect, resolved to make himself one of my retinue. 
The country through which we had to travel was 
quite of a different character from that we had passed ; 
it was mountainous, and wooded to the summits : 
evergreens adorned the valleys, in which numerous 
streams of excellent water flowed throu 2 :h many a 
winding course towards the Indian Ocean. During 



the first and second day’s journey I was charmed 
exceedingly, and was often reminded of Scotia’s hills 
and dales. As it was a rainy season, every thing 
was fresh; the clumps of trees that studded the 
plains being covered with rich and living verdure. 
But these rocks and vales, and picturesque scenes, 
were often vocal with the lion’s roar. It was a 
country once covered with a dense population. On 
the sides of the hills and Kashan mountains were 
towns in ruins, where thousands once made the 
country alive, amidst fruitful vales now covered with 
luxuriant grass, inhabited by game. The extirpating 
invasions of the Mantatees and Matabele had left to 
beasts of prey the undisputed right of these lovely 
woodland glens. The lion, which had revelled on 
human flesh, as if conscious that there was none to 
oppose, roamed at large, a terror to the traveller, who 
often heard with dismay his nightly roaring echoed 
back by the surrounding hills. We were mercifully 
preserved during the nights, though our slumbers were 
often interrupted by his fearful bowlings. We had 
frequently to take our guns and precede the wagon, as 
the oxen sometimes took fright at the sudden rush 
of a rhinoceros or buffalo from a thicket. More 
than one instance occurred when, a rhinoceros being 
aroused from its slumbers by the crack of the whips, 
the oxen would scamper off like race-horses, when 
destruction of gear, and some part of the ^vagon, was 
the result. As there was no road, we were frequently 
under the necessity of taking very circuitous routes 
to find a passage through deep ravines ; and we were 
often obliged to employ picks, spades, and hatchets, 
to clear our way. When we bivouacked for the 



night, a plain was generally selected, that we might 
he the better able to defend ourselves; and when 
tire-wood was plentiful, we made a number of tires 
at a distance around the wagon. But when it 
rained, our situation was pitiful indeed; and we 
only wished it to rain so hard that the lion might 
not like to leave his lair. 

Having travelled one hundred miles, five days after 
leaving Mosega we came to the first cattle out¬ 
posts of the Matahele, when we halted by a fine 

attention was arrested by a beautiful 
and gigantic tree, standing in a defile leading into an 
extensive and \voody ravine, between a high range of 
mountains. Seeing some individuals employed on 
the ground under its shade, and the conical points 
of what looked like houses in miniature protruding 
through its evergreen foliage, I proceeded thither, 
and found that the tree was inhabited by several fa¬ 
milies of Bakones, the aborigines of the country. I 
ascended by the notched trunk, and found, to my 
amazement, no less than seventeen of these aerial 
abodes, and three others unfinished. On reaching 
the topmost hut, about thirty feet from the ground, 
I entered, and sat down. Its only furniture was the 
hay which covered the floor, a spear, a spoon, and a 
howl full of locusts. Not having eaten any thing that 
day, and from the novelty of my situation, not wish¬ 
ing to return immediately to the wagons, I asked a 
w^oman who sat at the door with a babe at her breast, 
permission to eat. This she granted with pleasure, 
and soon brought me more in a powdered state. Se¬ 
veral more females came from the neighbouring 

rivulet. My 



roosts, stepping from branch to branch, to see the 
stranger, who was to them as great a curiosity as the 
tree was to him. I then visited the different abodes, 
which were on several principal branches. The struc¬ 
ture of these houses was very simple. An oblong 
scaffold, about seven feet wide, is formed of straight 
sticks. On one end of this platform a small cone 
is formed, also of straight sticks, and thatched with 
grass. A person can nearly stand upright in it: the 
diameter of the door is about six feet. The house 
stands on the end of the oblong, so as to leave a little 
square space before the door. On the day previous 
I had passed several villages, some containing forty 
houses, all built on poles about seven or eight feet 
from the ground, in the form of a circle : the ascent 
and descent is by a knotty branch of a tree placed in 
front of the house. In the centre of the circle there 
is always a heap of the bones of game they have 
killed. Such were the domiciles of the impoverished 
thousands of the aborigines of the country, who, 
having been scattered and peeled by Moselekatse, 
had neither herd nor stall, but subsisted on locusts, 
roots, and the chase. They adopted this mode of 
architecture to escape the lions which abounded in 
the country. During the day the families descended 
to the shade beneath to dress their daily food. When 
the inhabitants increased, they supported the aug¬ 
mented weight on the branches by upright sticks ; 
but when lightened of their load, they removed these 
for fire-wood. The following sketch of the tree (a 
species oificus,) taken on the spot, will serve to illus¬ 
trate what has been written on these aerial abodes. 



As a proof of the necessity of such an expedient 
as above described, I may add, that during the 
day, having shot a rhinoceros, we had reserved the 
hump of the animal to roast during the night; a 
large ant-hill was selected for the purpose, and being- 
prepared by excavation and fire, this tit-hit was depo¬ 
sited. During the night, a couple of lions, attracted 
by the roast, drew near, and though it was beyond 
gun-shot, we could hear them distinctly, as if holding 
council to wait till the fire went out, to obtain for 
themselves our anticipated breakfast. As the fire 
appeared to have gone out altogether^ we had given 
up hope till morning light sliowed us that the lions 
had been in earnest, hut the heat of the smoulder¬ 
ing ant-hill had effectually guarded our steak. 



After my return to the wagons, some Matabele 
warriors approached, who, on seeing ’Umbate and his 
companion, and their attendants, bowed at a distance, 
until he beckoned them to draw near, when they 
addressed the Tunas in the most servile language, 
which proved that we had not been mistaken in re¬ 
garding them as men of distinction. Having thus 
arrived at the out-posts of Moselekatse’s dominions, 
I again referred to my engagement, and proposed 
returning home, having now brought them thus far, 
and, according to the phraseology of the country, 
placed them among, or behind the shields of their 
nation. The two chief men arose, and after looking 
for a while on the ground as if in deep thought, ’Um- 
bate, laying his right hand on my shoulder, and the 
left on his breast, addressed me in the following lan¬ 
guage : “ Father, you have been our guardian. We 
are yours. You love us, and will you leave us ?” and 
pointing to the blue mountains on the distant horizon, 
“ Yonder,” he added, “ dwells the great Moselekatse, 
and how shall we approach his presence, if you are 
not with us ? If you love us still, save us, for when 
we shall have told our news, he will ask why our 
conduct gave you pain to cause your return ; and be¬ 
fore the sun descend on the day we see his face, we 
shall be ordered out for execution, because you are 
not. Look at me and my companion, and tell us if 
you can, that you will not go, for we had better die 
here than in the sight of our people.” I reasoned, 
but they were silent; their eyes, however, spoke a 
language I could not resist. ‘'Are you afraid?” said 
one ; to which I replied, “ No.” “ Then,” said ’Um- 
bate, “ it remains with you to save our lives, and our 



wives and children from sorrow.” I now found my¬ 
self in a perplexing position, these noble suppliants 
standing before me, ’Umhate, whose intelligent coun¬ 
tenance beamed with benevolence, while his masculine 
companion, another Mars, displayed a sympathy of 
feeling not to be expected in the man of war, who 
could count his many tens of slain warriors which 
had adorned his head with a ring or badge of vic¬ 
tory and honour. My own attendants, whom I had 
the day before been commending for their intrepidity, 
were looking on the transaction as if the destinies 
of an empire were involved; and heard, not without 
strong emotion, my consent to accompany the stran¬ 
gers to their king. 

We now travelled along a range of mountains run¬ 
ning near E.S.E., while the country to the north and 
east became more level, but beautifully studded with 
ranges of little hills, many isolated, of a conical form, 
along the bases of w hich lay the ruins of innumerable 
towns, some of which were of amazing extent. The 
soil of the valleys and extended plains was of the 
richest description. The torrents from the adjacent 
heights had, from year to year, carried away immense 
masses, in some places laying bare the substratum of 
granite rocks, exhibiting a mass of rich soil from ten 
to twenty feet deep, where it was evident native grain 
had formerly wnved ; and water-melons, pumpkins, 
kidney-beans, and sweet reed had once flourished. 
The ruins of many towns showed signs of immense 
labour and perseverance ; stone fences, averaging from 
four to seven feet high, raised apparently wdthout 
mortar, hammer, or line. Every thing was circular, 
I’rom the inner walls which sujTounded each dwelling 



or family residence, to those which encircled a town. 
In traversing these ruins, I found the remains of 
some houses which had escaped the flames of the ma¬ 
rauders. These were large, and displayed a far su¬ 
perior style to any thing I had witnessed among the 
other aboriginal tribes of Southern Africa. The cir¬ 
cular walls were generally composed of hard clay, 
with a small mixture of cow-dung, so well plastered 
and polished, a refined portion of the former mixed 
with a kind of ore, that the interior of the house had 
the appearance of being varnished. The walls and 
door-ways were also ne 
of architraves and cornices. The pillars supporting 
the roof in the form of pilasters, projecting from the 
walls, and adorned with flutings and other designs^ 
showed much taste in the architectresses. This taste, 
however, was exercised on fragile materials, for there 
was nothing in the building like stone, except the 
foundations. The houses, like all others in the inte¬ 
rior, were round, with conical roofs, extending be¬ 
yond the walls, so as to aflbrd considerable shade, or 
what might be called a verandah. The raising of 
the stone fences must have been a work of immense 
labour, for the materials had all to be brought on the 
shoulders of men, and the quarries where these mate¬ 
rials were probably obtained, were at a considerable 
distance. The neighbouring hills also gave ample 
demonstration of human perseverance, with instru¬ 
ments of the most paltry description. 

In some places were found indigenous fig-trees, 
growing on squares of stone left by the quarriers, the 
height of twelve feet, and held together by the inter¬ 
secting roots of the tree. On some of these we 

atly ornamented with a kind 



found ripe figs, but, from the stony basis, and un¬ 
cultivated state, they were much inferior to those 
grown in the gardens of the Colony. Many an hour 
have I walked, pensively, among these scenes of 
desolation,—casting my thoughts back to the period 
when these now ruined habitations teemed with life 
and revelry, and when the hills and dales resounded 
to the burst of heathen joy. Nothing now remained 
but dilapidated walls, heaps of stones, and rubbish, 
mingled with human skulls, which, to a contempla¬ 
tive mind, told their ghastly tale. These are now 
the abodes of reptiles and beasts of prey. Occasion¬ 
ally a large stone-fold might be seen occupied by the 
cattle of the Matabele, who had caused the land thus 
to mourn. Having Matabele with me, I found it ex¬ 
tremely difficult to elicit local information from the 
dejected and scattered aborigines who occasionally 
came in our way. These trembled before the nobles, 
who ruled them with a rod of iron. It was soon 
evident that the usurpers were anxious to keep me 
in the dark about the devastations which everywhere 
met our eyes, and they always endeavoured to be 
present when I came in contact with the aborigines 
of the country, but as I could speak the language 
some opportunities were afforded. One of the three 
servants who accompanied the two ambassadors to 
tbe Kuruman, was a captive among the Mantatees, 
who had been defeated at Old Lithako. He, as well 
as his fellow-servants, felt a pleasure in speaking with 
us in Sechuana, their native language. He, and 
many liundreds more of that people, were, on their 
return from the defeat, taken prisoners by Mosele- 
katse. This individual, though an athletic and stern- 



looking being was also a shrewd observer of cha¬ 
racter, and possessed a noble mind, which revolted 
at the tyranny of his new masters. He was a native 
of the regions through which we were now passing, 
and would sometimes whisper to me events connected 
with the desolations of his father-land. These nations 
he described as being once numerous as the locusts, 
rich in cattle, and traffickers, to a great extent, with 
the distant tribes of the north. My informant, with 
his fellow Bakones, had witnessed the desolation of 
many of the towns around us—the sweeping away the 
cattle and valuables—the butchering of the inhabit¬ 
ants, and their being enveloped in smoke and flames. 
Commandos of Ghaka, the once bloody monarch of 
the Zoolus, had made frightful havoc ; but all these 
were nothing to the final overthrov/ of the Bakone 
tribes by the arms of Moselekatse. The former 
inhabitants of these luxuriant hills and fertile plains 
had, from peace and plenty, become effeminate,— 
while the Matabele, under the barbarous reign of 
the monster Chaka, from whose iron grasp they had 
made their escape, like an overwhelming torrent, 
rushed onward to the north, marking their course 
with blood and carnage. 

On a Sabbath morning I ascended a hill, at the 
base of which we had halted the preceding evening, 
to spend the day. I had scarcely reached the summit 
and sat down, when I found that my intelligent com¬ 
panion had stolen away from the party, to answer 
some questions I had asked the day before, and to 
which he could not reply, because of the presence 
of his superiors. Happening to turn to the right, 
and seeing before me a large extent of level ground 



covered with ruins, I inquired what had become of 
the inhabitants. He had just sat down, but rose, 
evidently with some feeling, and, stretching forth his 
arm in the direction of the ruins, said, “ I, even 
I, beheld it ! ” and paused, as if in deep thought. 
“ There lived the great chief of multitudes. He 
reigned among them like a king. He was the chief 
of the blue-coloured cattle. They were numerous 
as the dense mist on the mountain brow; his flocks 
covered the plain. He thought the number of his 
warriors would awe his enemies. His people boasted 
in their spears, and laughed at the cowardice of such 
as had fled from their towns. ‘ I shall slay them, 
and hang up their shields on my hill. Our race is 
a race of warriors. Who ever subdued our fathers ? 
they were mighty in combat. We still possess the 
spoils of ancient times ? Have not our dogs eaten 
the shields of their nobles ? The vultures shall devour 
the slain of our enemies.’ Thus they sang, and thus 
they danced, till they beheld on yonder heights the 
approaching foe. The noise of their song was hushed 
in night, and their hearts were filled with dismay. 
They saw the clouds ascend from the plains. It was 
the smoke of burning towns. The confusion of a 
whirlwind was in the heart of the great chief of the 
blue-coloured cattle. This shout was raised, ‘ They 
are friends but they shouted again, ‘ They are foes,’ 
till their near approach proclaimed them naked Ma- 
tahele. The men seized their arms, and rushed out, 
as if to chase the antelope. The onset was as the 
voice of lightning, and their spears as the shaking of 
a forest in the autumn storm. The Matabele lions 
raised the shout of death, and flew upon their victims. 
It was the shout of victory. Their hissing and hollow 



groans told their progress among the dead. A few 
moments laid hundreds on the ground. The clash 
of shields was the signal of triumph. Our people tied 
with their cattle to the top of yonder mount. The 
Matahele entered the town with the roar of the lion; 
they pillaged and fired the houses, speared the 
mothers, and cast their infants to the flames. The 
sun went down. The victors emerged from the 
smoking plain, and pursued their course, surrounding 
the base of yonder hill. They slaughtered cattle ; they 
danced and sang till the dawn of day ; they ascended, 
and killed till their hands were weary of the spear.’’ 
Stooping to the ground on which we stood, he took 
up a little dust in his hand ; blowing it off, and hold¬ 
ing out his naked palm, he added, “ That is all that 
remains of the great chief of the blue-coloured cattle ! ” 
It is impossible for me t